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Foxwood Condos to Get Over $741k in Tax Refunds

Under the terms of a property tax reduction settlement, Mount Kisco will refund more than $364,000, while the Bedford school district owes more than $291,000.

Mount Kisco's Village Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to approve a tax challenge settlement with the Foxwood condo complex, officials confirmed, paving the way for more than $741,000 in tax refunds.

The complex is located off of Route 117 (near the Bedford Hills border) sits on roughly 33 acres and has 130 housing units. It will get refunds from 2008-12 from both the village, Bedford Central School District and Westchester County. The village will pay out more than $364,000, the school district owes more than $291,000 and the county's share is more than $86,000.

The vote from the board was 4-1, the village manager's office confirmed, with Deputy Mayor George Griffin voting against the deal.

The refunds will correspond to assessment reductions for the whole complex, including retroactive cuts, which will go as far back as 2008. The assessments will drop, in some tax years, by more than $1 million.

The deal calls for Mount Kisco paying back its refund share over a 3-year period, while Bedford Central and the county will have to pay lump sums, according to Village Assessor Roger Miller.

Mount Kisco's taxing status is unusual because the municipality functions as both a village and as a town. Miller explained that a village-based assessment roll is used for municipal taxes, while a town-based roll is used as the basis for school and county taxes. Foxwood filed five challenges against its village assessment and four against the town assessment.

Condo complexes have several unique traits as well. Unlike single-family properties, units are assessed based on what potential rental income they could generate, rather than market value based on their possible sale price. Such developments also will challenge their tax assessments as a collective entity.

Municipalities and school districts have grappled more with tax challenges and refunds in recent years, amid a down economy. Notable examples in the last two years include the Riverwoods condo complex getting a settlement with the Town of New Castle and the Chappaqua school district, and Mount Kisco's Brookside condo complex getting a deal with the village and Bedford Central.

The downside for local governments and schools, however, is that the reductions lead to erosions of their tax bases, which can contribute to tax rates going up more in order to help raise revenue at a similar level as before the drop. 

The Foxwood matter was the biggest of its kind in Mount Kisco, according to Miller.

"This is the largest."

Asked for comment about the situation, Bedford Central Assistant Superintendent for Business Mark Betz said he was not surprised. He also anticipates that the district will have the funds to cover the cost.

Below are tables for the assessed value reductions, for both the village and town rolls, with data courtesy of the meeting's agenda packet:

Village Roll (for Village Taxes)

YEAR OLD VALUE NEW VALUE AMOUNT DROPPED 2008 $2,819,300 $1,789,201 $1,030,099 2009 $2,819,300 $1,824,896 $994,404 2010 $2,819,300 $1,833,277 $986,023 2011 $2,819,300 $1,820,702 $998,598 2012 $2,159,000 $1,915,188 $243,812

Town Roll (for School and County Taxes)

YEAR OLD VALUE NEW VALUE AMOUNT DROPPED 2008 $4,900,300 $3,651,901 $1,248,399 2009 $4,900,300
$3,712,796 $1,187,504 2010 $4,900,300 $3,790,494 $1,109,806 2011 $4,900,300 $4,000,506 $899,764

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