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New Castle Local Tax Assessor with lots of Appeals

Philip Platz is venturing into his first tax season as New Castle’s town tax assessor, a hefty task in Westchester County where the number of tax appeals increased exponentially last year. There are sure to be more this year, with property values decreasing and property taxes increasing.

Platz came from the town of Cortland in December 2010, where the number of appeals were lower than he had known about in Chappaqua.  Last year, there were approximately 700 grievances and 400 Small Claims Assessment Reviews (SCARs) in Chappaqua alone.

Annually on June 1, the state of New York publishes its tax assessment roll which calculates the Ruling Exchange Rate (RER) in every community based on home sales in that municipality and assessments of owned properties, a process that typically begins in March.

“The second Tuesday in June, this year it’s June 21, is grievance day,” Platz said. “That is the day by which all tax appeals or possible exemptions must be filed, on or before that date.”

If a grievance is filed and a resident is still not satisfied, they may file with the Superior Court of the State of New York or a file a SCAR claim, which is a special hearing for tax appeals where residents don’t need to hire a lawyer since the tax terminology is simplified in an expediated hearing. The resident must only prove the value of their home to a hearing officer and their claim is settled.

Platz expects to be inundated with tax appeals in late June with the market being down.

“The Chappaqua market, which is usually a pretty strong is being hit as well,” Platz said.

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