A tax certiorari filed by the club challenging assessments from 2017 through 2021 led to agreement by the Mount Kisco Village Board to pay over $88,000 to the club; another $118,611 will come from local schools, along with $25,814 from Westchester Country. Determination of the portion of the settlement from the town of New Castle, where the clubhouse is located, is still pending. “In our opinion, this settlement is reasonable and favorable to a potential trial, given market conditions, the specifics of this property, and the methodology required for golf course valuation for tax purposes,” Village Assessor Roger Miller advised the Mount Kisco Board.
A recent settlement in a tax certiorari filed by the Mount Kisco Country Club will cost two municipalities extra money, but avoids potentially costlier litigation, The Examiner News reported.
In late September, the Mount Kisco Village Board approved a settlement with the 166-acre property that will see the village pay out $88,435 to the club, The Examiner News reported. Another $118,611 will come from the schools and $25,814 from Westchester County.
The Town of New Castle, N.Y. had scheduled a vote on its portion of the settlement for a September meeting,The Examiner News reported, but that session was postponed.
Mount Kisco CC had challenged the village’s assessments from 2017 through 2021, The Examiner Newsreported.
According to an outline of the settlement from Village Assessor Roger Miller, 104 acres and 13 of the 18 holes of the club’s golf course are located in Mount Kisco, but the clubhouse and all amenities are in New Castle, The Examiner News reported. The country club’s appraiser argued the property is worth $6.5 million.
Under the settlement, the property’s worth was set at $8 million for 2017 and 2018, and $8.15 million for 2019 through 2021, The Examiner News reported.
In the settlement, Mount Kisco was able to increase its allocation of the total value of the property from 30 to 35 percent for the years in question, and 40 percent in the future, The Examiner News reported.
“The assessment for country clubs has changed and it’s become very advantageous to the country club themselves,” said Mount Kisco Village Attorney Whitney Singleton. “They’re not taxed at their highest and best use; they’re taxed basically on a contract that assumes people are just going to come, pay to play on the golf course and leave, and really that’s not a reality for golf clubs. That’s not why people go there.”
The settlement comes on the heels of a court decision in 2020 in favor of Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. against the towns of Ossining and Mount Pleasant, The Examiner News reported. In that case, the appraiser for Sleepy Hollow CC was the same one used by Mount Kisco CC. That action reduced the value of Sleepy Hollow Country Club from $12 million to $11.6 million.
The extent to which the Town of New Castle will be affected has not been made public, The Examiner Newsreported. Assessor Josh Herman said the Town Board must first formally accept the settlement, then the details will be released.
For Mount Kisco, which negotiated in tandem with New Castle, it is preferable to avoid lengthy litigation, The Examiner News reported.
“In our opinion, this settlement is reasonable and favorable to a potential trial, given market conditions, the specifics of this property, and the methodology required for golf course valuation for tax purposes,” Miller wrote to the Village Board. “It is additionally favorable given the increased allocation we were able to obtain for Mount Kisco.”