Update: The Mamaroneck Town administration will be mailing letters of explanation to the 740 homeowners April 19.
Westchester homeowners already pay among the highest property taxes anywhere. So an unexpected, significant rate increase for a slice of properties in the Town of Mamaroneck has residents upset.
“This isn’t the kind of surprise I like,” said one homeowner. “My taxes just went up $1137 with no warning.”
According to Mamaroneck Town Administrator Steve Altieri, a County map of the New Rochelle Sewer District incorrectly failed to include about 740 parcels on the western side of the Town of Mamaroneck, which have been mistakenly included in the Mamaroneck Valley Sewer District for years. As a result, many of those residents just saw their tax bills rise anywhere from hundreds to many thousands of dollars.
The tax rate for the Mamaroneck Valley Sewer District is $.578 per thousand and for New Rochelle $1.421 per thousand.
Sources say the Town is correcting a problem that was discovered during the recent revaluation of the Town’s properties. The Town says the problem was discovered as part of the recent Sewer System Evaluation Study being done in the New Rochelle Sewer District.
The sewer tax itself is the result of a large County infrastructure project that was mandated by New York State in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The Town receives a tax warrant from the County each March and then has to generate the appropriate individual tax bills which are due by the end of April.
Four sewer districts were impacted Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Blind Brook and Port Chester, but each District taxes differently.
Westchester County Legislator Catherine Parker said she had been unaware of this case. “I was not copied on any correspondence, and judging by minutes taken by my Legislative Aide… there was not discussion amongst the Town of Mamaroneck elected officials.”
She said that she has asked the County Board of Legislators to meet with the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee, and other officials to discuss this.
One homeowner on Lafayette Road, who has lived in her house 26 years said her sewer tax increased by $1,150 this year.
“Neighbors are paying much less by virtue of the fact that they pay to the Mamaroneck sewer district even though they are a stone’s throw away and their homes sit in the Murray Avenue school district as do ours,” she said.
“This is having a negative impact on home values. In my case, assuming a 5% cap rate, the reduction in value equates to $23,000 ($1,150 p.a. / .05) which isn’t chump change.”
A spokesperson for the County Budget Office said they would respond to our questions after the County Supervisor’s State of the County address later this week.