EDGEMONT/TOWN TAXPAYERS SAVE $1.4 MILLION DOLLARS AFTER WINNING TAX CERTIORARI CASE
Great news for Edgemont and for the town. Most certiorari claims are settled in court. And, when there is a trial the municipality usually loses. The town and Edgemont School district decided to fight a certiorari petition filed by Midway/Burlington. We won! The Edgemont school district will save about $817,000…the town will be saving $232,600…the Fire District will save $148,700, the sewer district will save $25,000 and the county will save $158,750.
This is terrific news. Congratulations to Town Attorney Tim Lewis, Deputy Town Attorney Peter Carparellifor their outstanding work on behalf of the town. The Edgemont School district also deserves to be congratulated for their advocacy on behalf of Edgemont residents. And, special thanks to the Town Board for deciding to fight this certiorari case.
Both the Edgemont School District and the Town of Greenburgh were successful in having five (5) years of tax certiorari petitions dismissed (1998 through 2002) against Burlington Coat Factory and Midway Shopping Center by Decision and Order of Judge Dickerson dated March 29, 2006. Please note petitions are still pending and viable for the 2003, 2004 and 2005 tax years by Midway, and these years are currently scheduled for trial in early October, 2006. The Edgemont School District's agrument centered on whether proper authorizations were executed by Midway, as Landlord and Owner, to Burlington, as Tenant, sufficient to allow Burlington to bring the petitions on behalf of Midway. The Court ruled that they were not and thus Burlington did not have standing to commence the proceedings. On behalf of the Town, the argument was made that the purported income and expense statements wewre not certified or verified, were not properly served and filed with the Court, and were insufficient on their face to constitute proper income and expense statements. The Court ruled in the Town's favor on all three issues raised. I believe this could have far reaching effect to the Town's (and School District's) benefit since, for the first time, the content and sufficiency of income and expense statements have been called into question by the Court. The effect is that Petitioners will be strictly held to the procedural requirements of the applicable regulations and the income and expense statements supplied will also be scrutinized for substantive content, although the Judge avoided any specific standards. This helps to level the uneven playing field which municipalities and school districts have been playing on for many years.
I suspect that the taxpayer will appeal this decision, but I am confident on appeal, based on the case law, that the decision will be affirmed. The savings to the School District and the Town can be measured in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. I am in the process of reviewing the file to determine whether we received a firm settlement offer from the taxpayer prior to the motions and, if so, the amount in refunds such offer would have generated. I'll get back to you with those figures.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor