Property Value In Helicopter Route Plummets 62%

I filed a grievance on the property taxes on property we own on 20 Ridge Road, Wainscott. It is immediately adjacent to the house we live in. The Assessed Value indicated on the Town of East Hampton Property Tax Bill is $10,050. The Full Value is $1,305,195.

In May 2010 I purchased the property for $500,000 in an arm’s length transaction. The purchase price in an arm’s length transaction is the true value of property by all legal definitions. The purchase price of $500,000 is a 62% decrease of the Full Value the Town of East Hampton claimed to be the Assessed Value on the December 1, 2010 – November 30, 2011 Tax Bill.

I appeared before the Town of East Hampton Board of Assessment Review with the closing statement, documents substantiating the purchase price and an appraisal determining the value of the property to be $500,000 . I received the results from the Board in the Year 2011- 2012 Notice of Determination Board of Assessment Review reducing the Assessed Value to $5,550 or Full Value of $720,780. If one is to believe the Board of Assessment, I do not, the Full Value plummeted 45%.

I believe the onslaught of recent helicopter traffic is a major contributor to plummeting property values.

The Determination of the Board of Assessment Review illustrates the art of property value assessment. The Board supposedly is made up of experts in their field. How can there be a $220,780 discrepancy from the legal definition of property value, defined by an arm’s length transaction? That equates to a 50% increase in assessed value to actual value. This is what feeds into folk’s distrust and anger towards government. If we take into consideration the torture and torment the citizens are forced to endure because helicopters are being allowed to operate on Town owned property, this is another painful result. How much pain must a citizen in East Hampton endure?

The Town Supervisor is a smart man in some ways. We give him and the current administration props for solving the financial crisis his administration inherited. Is the Town Supervisor and this administration really that smart if they did not do a cost – benefit analysis before continuing to allow helicopters to operate at East Hampton Airport? Do they have all the facts? Have they researched and considered alternative solutions?

Now we have presented factual evidence on plummeting real estate values. How will that factor into the Town’s tax base in the future? Essentially the property tax on this one property has been cut in half. Will the increase in revenues as a result of increase in landing fees cover the eventual decrease in tax base? When the public understands there is a significant decrease in property values, how many will file tax grievances next year? When the tax grievance services get wind of this factual data, what efforts will they make marketing grievance applications next year? Who is responsible for the plummeting property values? Who will compensate the property owners for plummeting property values? Will a class action lawsuit be necessary to recoup these costs? The Town is making revenues on the very activity that is causing plummeting property values, aren’t they? What will be the total cost to the Town and the property owners as a result of allowing helicopters to operate on Town owned land? The people need to have answers to these questions.

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