Board Approves Assessment Reduction Settlement – QNS.com

Board Approves Assessment Reduction Settlement

The North Shore Towers Board of Directors approved a settlement that will reduce the cooperative’s real estate tax assessment for the 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 taxes.
            In an August 20 letter to the community, Board President Bob Ricken explained that the Board has the right and obligation to question the real estate property taxes, and that they contest it on an annual basis. He also said that the Board retains “a firm of tax certiorari attorneys who are experts in the field. They represent North Shore Towers and present our case to the NYC Tax Commission.”
            During an open Board meeting in April, Finance Committee Chair Mort Gitter said that the city rescinded the seven percent modification of the assessment that had been in effect. He said that the increased assessed value that would begin on July 1 was $162 million, up from $146 million.
            The Towers had analyzed the assessments of other buildings in the city and noticed that the other buildings received far more modest increases.
            An initial offer to the Towers would have reduced the 2008-2009 assessment by 4.27 percent. 
            “After a thorough review of this matter with our special counsel, your Board of Directors decided to reject that offer with thoughts toward enjoying a better result in the future,” Ricken wrote. “In retrospect, this turned out to be an excellent decision.”
            A new offer was presented to the Board over the summer. For 2008-2009, the tax assessment was reduced by 8.15 percent, resulting in a $11,912,500 reduction.
            In addition, a 16.35 percent decrease was given for the assessment for the 2009-2010 tax year. This will result in a reduction of $26,633,000.
            During last month’s open Board meeting, Gitter said that the real estate tax situation was “a little bit better than anticipated.”
            “When the city rendered our current assessments, it was astronomical and we were successful in obtaining a very significant reduction, which, while not causing our real estate taxes to go down…, they are going up a little less than we thought they would in 2010,” Gitter said.
            In his letter to the community, Rick quoted Gitter as saying that “the current offer has a significant effect on our 2010 budget.”
            “I am proud of the fact that the Board rejected the first offer and voted to accept the latest settlement,” Ricken said in his letter. “Instead of possibly facing a 5 percent increase in maintenance, the Finance Committee, led by Mort Gitter and Rob Serikstad, will be able to develop a budget with a substantially lower spending package. When we list the Board’s achievements for the present year, this accomplishment will certainly head the list.”

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