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Greenburgh Calling For Town-Wide Property Reassessment

It's been about 60 years since Greenburgh has conducted a town-wide property reassessment, said Town Assessor Edye McCarthy.
It's been about 60 years since Greenburgh has conducted a town-wide property reassessment, said Town Assessor Edye McCarthy. Photo Credit: File

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Town Supervisor Paul Feiner is calling for a reassessment of all town properties after county estimates showed that Greenburgh's tax levy will increase by 2.1 percent for county property taxes.

The last town-wide reassessment was conducted in the 1950s, said Town Assessor Edye McCarthy, so the process for a new evaluation of property assessments is long overdue.

"I do think it's necessary — just to have an accurate account of inventory for valuation purposes," McCarthy said.

During a reassessment, Greenburgh's assessor's department reviews the market values of all town properties, both commercial and residential, and determines whether the assessments should increase or decrease based on changes in the real estate market.

The total assessed valuation for unincorporated Greenburgh has continuously decreased for the past five years, and the 2013 budget projected an all-time low at $294 million since 1991. As assessment decreases, tax rates usually go up proportionally.

Without a proper reassessment, property owners could be paying too much or too little, which would reflect town-wide on the tax levy, McCarthy said.

Greenburgh has not begun a formal process for reassessment, but the assessor's department has sent out a request for information to 30 Greenburgh businesses, which McCarthy said is the first step in the reassessment process. It is too soon to tell whether a reassessment would increase or decrease the tax levy for Greenburgh, she added, but it would mitigate tax refunds from the past 15 years.

Feiner said he plans to include funding for a town-wide reassessment in the 2013 capital budget, which is set to be finalized in January.

Ten Westchester County towns will join Greenburgh in seeing a higher tax levy next year, while the tax levy will decrease in 14 towns, according to a Westchester County Tax Commission news release. The county budget property tax levy has remained steady for the past three years at $548 million.

School taxes account for about 60 percent of a property owner's tax bill, while county property taxes and local government taxes each make up an additional 20 percent, the Westchester County Tax Commission reported.

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