Monday, June 02, 2008


One Corrected...

In the April Village Board Meeting OtBB entry, it was incorrectly reported that Village Trustee Joan Levan was one of two Board Members who had abstained from voting on the final tax assessment roll:

"The Empress of Oneck apparently learned her lesson from last year, and won't have to lie about whether or not she voted for her own assessment reduction this time around."

In point of fact, it was Deputy Mayor James Kametler who abstained from voting on the final assessment roll. Mrs. Levan, not having received a reduction this year, would have had no reason to abstain.

Which raises the question of why Trustee Jim Kametler would feel the need to abstain.

One To Be Corrected...

A comparison of the Tentative 2008 Village Roll with the Final (adopted) Tax Roll reveals not only the answer, but a disturbing in­con­sistency related to the property involved, a 0.45-acre parcel at 24 Oak Street owned by the Deputy Mayor's wife, Carol S. Meyer.

24 Oak street

Initially assessed at $691,400 in January of this year, Ms. Meyer, as is her absolute right as a citizen of the Village, grieved that amount and was successful in obtaining more than an 11½% reduction to $611,600... which is why her husband, quite properly, abstained from the vote.

The disturbing part is that while inspecting the Tentative and Final Assessment Rolls under a Freedom of Information Law request, it was noticed that Ms. Meyer's property code is listed as "210 - Residential," despite they fact that she and her husband have for at least seven years been advertising it as "24 Oak Street Bed & Breakfast."

That sort of even partial commercial use means that Ms. Meyer's classification code should be "418 - Inns, Lodges, Boarding and Rooming Houses..." and as an income-producing property, taxed at a higher rate.

(And before the Deputy Mayor starts blathering about how they aren't really operating a "Bed & Breakfast" because "we don't serve break­fast,") he should note that the full definition of 418 reads:

"Sleeping accommodations with or without meals or kitchen privileges."

Exactly how much money Trustee Kametler and his wife are saving with their unwarranted "210" classification is unknown since the Tax Assessor's Office states that their assessment would be based on the amount of income the property produces, or is capable of producing.

But it'll be a substantial sum or they probably wouldn't be expending such effort to hide the actual nature of 24 Oak Street from the authorities.

This is just something else the rest of the Village Board needs to address with their wayward colleague.


1. Frank Wheeler said...

Neat trick! Ignore the Village's permit requirement, then cheat the County, Town and Village out of their proper taxes -- and everyone in the Village pays higher taxes because they don't think the rules apply to them!

What's interesting is that Press reporter Jessica DiNapoli mentioned the difference in assessment rates between a residential property and a bed and breakfast two weekes ago, but no one really picked up on it because she didn't get into the specifics.
But you're right about everyone else paying higher taxes… it's a big saving for them, and they probably think no one will care because it's spread across the tax base of the entire Village.
It'll be instructive to see how the voters feel about this on the 20th… under most circumstances that sucking noise the Deputy Mayor would be hearing right now would be his political career going down the drain.

2. Elyse Richman said...

It's funny the Village called to remind me to come in and pick up my renewal permit that was ready and laminated for me to display and also to remind me to bring in the $200.00 fee for my outdoor dining and outdoor music that I have been paying every year, or else they would fine me. I have insisted over the years that the codes are only selectively enforced. Does anyone else think this is the case now. I do try to follow the rules, some probably should be updated, and changed, that's why the Trustees formed a Sign Ordinance Committee and paid $11,000 to the Village Planner to review the codes. But the Committee has not had a meeting in a couple of months, so I guess nothing is happening. I requested to be on the Committee but was denied because I had a violation. Things just don't make sense to me.

O, Elyse, c'mon now.
You've gotten away with a great deal over the years, and when OtBB mentioned last Fall that you'd finally faced the music in Justice Court, a reader commented:
Your blog makes it seem you're sympathetic to Elyse Richman having to pay a fine for "defiantly resisting compliance." I can assure you no merchant who does business near her wants to be - just ask them! Many merchants are furious about the Village's permitting this situation to go on for years and years. Her stores are an emabarrassment of Sign Code violations and a wide assortment of items outside of her stores give it a "junkyard" like appearance. If a hundred other shopkeepers can follow the rules and keep their stores neat and attractive, why can't she??????????
I didn't publish it then because the writer didn't have the guts to provide a verifiable E-mail address, but I did follow up on it and found it to be accurate.
Stop whining, run your own busi­nesses, follow the rules, and good luck with your write-in campaign.
– Dean

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