The 18-hole property is partially located in both the city of Rye, N.Y., and the town of Harrison, N.Y., and will receive $600,000 and $300,000, respectively, from each municipality as a result of a reduction in its assessed property value. The club’s taxes will be cut in half, to approximately $200,000 a year.
The Apawamis Club has been granted a considerable reduction in its property tax assessment as a result of a recent settlement with the city of Rye, N.Y., and the town/village of Harrison, N.Y., the Rye City Review reported.
On January 4, the state Supreme Court approved the reduction of The Apawamis Club’s assessed property value, which will ultimately cut the club’s taxes in half to approximately $200,000 a year, the Review reported.
The club’s tax assessment is shared between Rye and Harrison as a result of the 4-acre, 18-hole club being partially located in both communities. Rye is responsible for assessing 75% of the club’s taxable value, and Harrison is responsible for the remaining 25%, the Review reported.
“We thought it would be best to negotiate a settlement with The Apawamis Club,” said Rye City Attorney Kristen Wilson. “They were willing to have a seat at the table and discuss various years of compensation, and, at the end of the day, we agreed upon a value that is favorable for both of the municipalities involved.”
The private club will be refunded approximately $900,000 as a result of a change in the tax assessments for the years 2011 through 2016. The club is expected to receive just under $600,000 from Rye, and just over $300,000 from Harrison, the Review reported.
According to Wilson, the Apawamis settlement is similar to several other current cases in the state regarding the tax assessments of private country clubs. There are four country clubs in Rye and nine in Harrison. In 2013, Harrison settled a similar case with Westchester Country Club; it also settled a tax case with Willow Ridge Country Club last year, the Review reported.
Ultimately, Wilson said, golf course memberships have been on the decline and their assessed values have been plummeting. Further, country clubs’ income streams throughout the state have also decreased drastically. For that reason, the Supreme Court has routinely challenged the taxable value of private country clubs, Wilson said, including The Apawamis Club, which reported gross receipts of $15 million in 2014, the Review reported.
The state Supreme Court’s ruling could pave the way for successful determinations for several other private country clubs located in Westchester, including an ongoing assessment challenge by Trump National Golf Club Westchester, which is owned by President Donald Trump’s company. In 2015, Trump argued that the club’s taxable value was $1.5 million. But, the town of Ossining assessed it at $14 million, the Review reported.
The Apawamis Club settlement will also have a bearing on both the Rye and Harrison school districts, as school districts are required to participate in tax certiorari cases along with their corresponding municipality. According to Dr. Brian Monahan, the interim superintendent of the Rye City School District, the school district will pay the country club $328,000. Harrison’s school district is expected to pay the club $192,000 on top of the $900,000 from Rye and Harrison, the Review reported.