By Stephen E. Lipken
Pelham Town Assessor Michele Casandra, accompanied by Pelham Deputy Town Supervisor Daniel McLaughlin appeared at the Monday, April 22nd Village of Pelham Manor Board of Trustees Meeting.
“A few months ago, I presented a Local Law to the Town Council. Our Town Board passed it at our last meeting. It deals with future condo conversions. There was a Homestead taxing option passed in 1998. It was a taxing option that divided the percentages of Homestead and non-Homestead class tax burden. It enabled us to assess condos at market value, not converted condos such as Fairways and Witherbee, which were converted back in the ‘80’s, and co-ops,” Casandra stated. “Those stay in the non-Homestead class. They have what’s called a restricted assessment, a far lower assessment, are taxed $10 higher than the Homestead tax rate but still pay about 1/3 of the taxes that an apartment pays at market value.
“It allows us to assess future condo conversions at market value. This is a quirk in the law, an advisory opinion out of Albany which must be clarified legislatively. Their opinion is that any future conversions that are in the non-Homestead class would stay in the class they are in, be assessed at market value but be taxed at the non-Homestead tax rate. In effect a $500,000 unit would pay $5,000 more tax than it would if was built as a condo.
It deals with homeowner’s associations. Without this law, they would stay in the class that they are in and go into the non-Homestead class, taxed lower than what they are now. With this law they would go into the Homestead tax rate and stay at market value.”
Mayor Jennifer Monachino Lapey averred that the Village would take the matter under advisement.
Pelham Manor Fire Department Captain Bryan Sutorius reported a structure fire on 45 Elm Tree Lane, on Pelham Manor/Bronx border, on Tuesday, March 19th, causing $4,000 worth of damage due to fire in a single wall flue from a burning pizza oven. “The wall had to be opened to get to the fire,” Sutorius noted.