By Stephen E. Lipken
Deputy Town Supervisor Daniel McLaughlin convened the Monday, March 4th Pelham Town Council meeting, introducing Town Assessor Michele Casandra, who discussed a proposed Local Law regarding Assessment of Converted Condominiums.
“It’s dealing with converted condominiums,” Casandra noted. “We haven’t enacted the Homestead Taxing Option (HTO), which is really a taxing option. However, in certain circumstances it also affects the way I assess certain properties.
“Under Homestead, properties like Marbury Corners and Esplanade Town Houses were built as condominiums. Because they are built as condominiums, they go into the Homestead or Residential Class, taxed at market value.
“Condominiums such as Fairways and Witherbee Court were converted from another type of residential use, namely rental apartments. They stay as a commercial property in non-Homestead Class and benefit by a restricted assessment, the income approach. Selling for $500,000-$700,000, most of them are not assessed for more than $200,000. They pay the non-Homestead tax rate which is $10 higher.
“It is a fraction of what Marbury pays. A $500,000 Marbury Corners unit pays $500,000. There is an explosion of rental buildings in this Village. If under Homestead, it starts out as a rental building and converts later, they stay in the non-Homestead Class.
“In light of new people coming on board who have not lived through Homestead that don’t understand HTO, they may think that they are going to convert to condominiums and be assessed like Marbury. No, and that is what this Local Law proposes. It protects Marbury from being devalued. If rentals should convert, they would be selling higher than Marbury, Fairways and Witherbee because they have far lower taxes.”
A Public Hearing is set for Monday, April 8th at 7:00 p.m.
In other business, Council voted to sign a new contract at a 3% increase with Michael Minerva, President, Empress Emergency Medical Services, Yonkers.