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Tonight: Revaluation on New Castle Agenda

Town Board to get a report from assessor on a recent Greenburgh event about property revaluation.

The New Castle Town Board will have property revaluation on its agenda tonight, touching on a big topic with major impacts.

Town Administrator Penny Paderewski told Patch that the town's assessor, Philip Platz, recently attended a meeting in Greenburgh and will tell the town board about it. 

The town board is nowhere near deciding whether or not a revaluation should be done.

"No decisions are being made since we don't know what has been discussed," Paderewski added about Platz's planned update.

Even at this point, however, just the mention of property revaluation is signifcant. New Castle has not done a town-wide revaluation since 1978, instead relying on piecemeal updates from individual properties. The matter was explored in 2010 with a report from James Frey, but the town opted not to proceed on a town-wide basis. Then-Supervisor Barbara Gerrard instead preferred a countywide revaluation, where Westchester County would work collaboratively on one with its municipalities. That concept reached its height of interest two years ago with a study. 

The idea of revaluation has come up among residents of New Castle's West End, who reside in the Ossining school district and have faced larger tax rate increases than their neighbors in Ossining. The reason for the differences in tax rates is the result of an equation called the equalization rate, which is used to reconcile differences in assessment practices between the communities and to apportion tax burdens in school and county budgets.

Since then, the idea has diminished. County Executive Rob Astorino, after a January talk in Chappaqua for his "Ask Astorino" forum series, cited cost as a factor.

Within the last year, however, a possible alternative has emerged. Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner has been pushing for what could be described as a multilateral revaluation; last year, he and Yonkers Mayor Michael Spano announced the idea of working collaboratively among several municipalites, even if it's not on a countywide basis. Feiner sees revaluation as a possible solution for tackling recent challenges to property assessments that seek reductions.

Whether New Castle will go along with such a plan remains to be seen.

The update will be on the agenda for 7:45 p.m. as a work session at New Castle Town Hall in Chappaqua. After the talk, a regular session will start; agenda items include giving another extension for the public hearing connected to Conifer Realty's special permit request for its controversial 36-unit Chappaqua Station apartment complex off of Hunts Place. Click here for the agenda and of its packet.

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