Letters to the editor

Don’t Let Homeowners at The Landing Stick It To the Rest of Dobbs Ferry Taxpayers

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September 7, 2020

To the editor:

Three years ago, The Landing, a late 1980’s development in Dobbs Ferry, attempted to re-classify their single family homes as condominiums in order to cut their taxes significantly.

It’s easy to identify with people unhappy about property taxes. But if they prevail, every other Dobbs Ferry taxpayer’s bill would increase to offset The Landing’s reduction, an increase of potentially millions of dollars. When this first arose, I did a back-of-the-envelope estimate of the average homeowner’s cost to pick up their tab. I calculated the average non-Landing property tax bill in Dobbs Ferry would rise by hundreds of dollars each.

That’s money out of everyone else’s pockets directly into the pockets of the 100 or so Landing homeowners. While everyone else pays an average significantly more every year, owners of homes at The Landing would each pay somewhere around $10,000 less.   The Landing was denied in 2018, but they continue to litigate. Remember, this is the group that spent years and cost the Village large legal fees because they wanted to renege on one of their foundational agreements, that they keep Wickers Creek open to the general public. Once they start litigating, they are like a Doberman unwilling to release the mailman’s pants leg.

Since certiorari litigation typically attempts to obtain reimbursement for back taxes dating to their original attempt, the first year bill could be triple my estimate or more. This might require the school district and Village budgets to exceed the 2% cap, requiring a vote that, if it fails, could plunge both entities into a financial crisis. And fail it should; who, after all, goes to the polls in order to approve being robbed?

In this time of financial upheaval, the fact that this group of pickpockets feels justified forcing the rest of us to subsidize their community responsibilities is abhorrent. We’ll pick up around half their tab for the schools, police, parks, and every other shared service property taxes support. Ask anyone at The Landing why our money belongs in their pocket. Their best answer will be “because we think we can get away with it.” I have (probably had is more correctfriends who live there; but Im not used to handing friends a fat roll of cash every year. 

If you’re as outraged as I am about this thievery, don’t sit idly by while these greedy hands reach for your wallet. Let your elected officials know they should fight hard on your behalf. There are four taxing authorities – the Village, the School District, the Town, and the County – so encourage Mayor Rossillo, Superintendent Brady, Supervisor Feiner, and County Executive Latimer to stand strong against this looting of over three thousand Dobbs Ferry homes.

And please join the Facebook group “Dobbs Ferry Taxpayers for Fair Cost Sharing” so that we may better organize collective action to protect ourselves from the pirates who have landed on the Hudson’s shores.

Matt Rosenberg, Dobbs Ferry

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