I wanted to let Irvington residents know that just over a week ago, Irvington resident Brian Friedman and I met with Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner and Town Assessor Edye McCarthy at Greenburgh Town Hall. Mr. Friedman has been diligently analyzing the Tyler reassessment amounts compared to recent sales data and other comparables, focusing on properties in the Irvington School District. In all, Mr. Friedman has looked at over 800 properties in the district, finding many valuations that appeared to be either materially over-assessed or materially under-assessed. Neither he nor I could say definitively if they are incorrect but we thought that they were worth further study. I am happy to report that both Mr. Feiner and Ms. McCarthy agreed with us and pledged to review our reports with the Town Assessing Staff, Tyler and the monitor. I have every reason to believe that they have been working on reviewing these flagged valuations and will adjust them when appropriate. Overall, I would call the meeting productive, respectful and open. I would like to publicly thank Mr. Friedman for all his hard work on the analysis and the ongoing efforts of Mr. Feiner and Ms. McCarthy.
One of the most interesting takeaways from the meeting was that the Greenburgh Tax Department will not be waiting five years for another reassessment, but rather, they will be constantly reviewing recent sales and other data to make adjustments. This, along with the current reviews they are performing, gives me a measure of hope that the valuations will be as accurate as possible in the near term.
Lastly, on the reassessment, the entire Irvington Board of Trustees and I continue to support mitigation for residents facing large tax increases. While the Greenburgh Town Board declined the five year phase-in option, they are pursuing a three year phase-in for residents facing tax increases. This three year phase-in will require an act of the New York State Legislature but will only pertain to Greenburgh. As Supervisor Feiner has reported, residents will have to apply for the phase-in, submit to a home inspection for valuation purposes and qualify under the NYS STAR tax reduction (thus make less than $500,000 a year). The Irvington Board of Trustees is willing to work with the Town to lobby our state representatives to get this bill passed.
Irvington is a great place, in part, because of its special events. This Saturday, May 14, the FACE (Fundraising And Community Events) Committee will be introducing Springfest at Matthiessen Park, from 2pm to 9pm. The music will include at least five local bands and unbelievable food (a clam bake theme) along with beer and wine. Many activities for children are planned, including a bouncy castle, an obstacle course and face painting. For bigger kids (and brave adults) there were will be bull riding and a zip line. For really brave children, Macaroni the Clown will be performing (I have a small clown phobia).
There will also be some good-hearted, but likely intense, competition in both a volleyball (3 on 3) and a corn hole tournament. The volleyball is 18+ while the corn hole is 16+, if you sign up at the Recreation Department beforehand, you can save $5 off the $20 day of registration fee.
So please come out on Saturday. The money raised goes back to other Recreation Programs including the July 4th fireworks, scholarships for summer camps for economically challenged children, the holiday basket programs and keeping the Senior bus on the road more often. Note: If it rains on Saturday (it will not – by mayoral decree), then the rain date is Sunday the 15th.
Brian C. Smith