Join us April 25 at the STAR PARTY - 730 PM at the Firehouse!
Join your Cragsmoor neighbors in reviewing the zoning code that applies to Cragsmoor – and try to change it for the better.
As development pressures increase in our area, change will occur in Cragsmoor.
Cragmoor’s current zoning is RURAL, which allows many principal uses that might surprise you. These include: mining and extraction, commercial agriculture, and others. Special uses that are perfectly legal in Cragsmoor following Planning Board approval include RV parks, hotels and motels, minor impact light industrial uses, planned unit developments (multi-use commercial centers), schools, colleges and educational facilities, “adult uses,” charitable and retreat institutions, commercial recreation, etc.
Cragsmoor residents all rely on drilled and dug wells for water, which are replenished by rainstorms and snow pack. Many Cragsmoor residents have told us they care deeply about the impact of development on Cragsmoor’s water. Residents are also concerned about traffic and road safety issues. The way Cragsmoor is developed could affect other features of Cragsmoor that people care deeply about – like noise, and the quality of the night sky…
The way Cragsmoor is developed could affect other features of Cragsmoor that people care deeply about – like noise, and the quality of the night sky…
We’ve heard your concerns.
Together we have a chance to lay the groundwork for the type of development that would preserve what people love most about our mountain home, using the very laws that govern land use in our area. And the time is now, because Wawarsing is in the process of updating its planning and zoning rules.
Cragsmoor Association is in the process of researching the strengths, weaknesses and effectiveness of different planning and zoning tools to protect what Cragsmoor residents cherish. Later this summer, we will poll the whole community. It’s the only way we can truly KNOW what we all value and wish to see in the future.
In the meantime, JOIN US at the Star Party! on April 25th, 730 PM at the Cragsmoor Firehouse to celebrate Cragsmoor’s starry night sky!
Concerns about the ReVal
A property re-evaluation (ReVal) in the Town of Wawarsing, which includes Cragsmoor, has been completed. Maxwell Appraisal Services was hired by the Town to inventory and assess the full market value of all properties. The Town will use this assessment to establish new taxes. This tax burden will be shared by Wawarsing residents in proportion to their assessed property values.
If your assessment increased, your property taxes will increase. The increase will be proportional to the increase in the assessed value of your property since last year. The Town sent you a notice, but the increase in the tax amount listed misleading and only represents a portion of your "County and Town Real Property" tax bill, and does not include at all the new school tax increase, which is by far the largest portion of your tax bill.( The amount does include "Town General Tax" and "Town Highway" tax. The new amount does NOT include: "County General Tax," "Wawarsing Ambulance" and "Cragsmoor Fire Company." AN EXAMPLE: Maxwell Appraisal 2014 Tax Liability: $1,434; taxes actually paid in 2014: $2,984.51. School taxes are also NOT included in the Maxwell Appraisal “Tax Liability” amount. The School Tax bill is a separate bill received in September, and is usually 1½ times higher than the County/Town taxes. Your School Tax bill will ALSO increase proportional to your new assessment.)
You should have received the "2015 ASSESSMENT NOTIFICATION" from the Town by mail in February. If you did not receive it, contact the Town Clerk office at (845) 647-7800 and ask how to get a copy.
If you have concerns about your assessment, make an appointment with Maxwell Appraisal Services THIS WEEK by calling (866) 727-2650.
Cragsmoor residents have been meeting to discuss the re-evaluation (ReVal) results, after seeing preliminary increases in Cragsmoor property assessments that are proportionally much larger than the rest of Wawarsing, and out of balance with recent local sales data and common sense. (Town-wide, some assessments fell, some increased and some did not change much.) Additionally, many residents discovered errors and inconsistencies in home and property information.
We understand that Maxwell has ALREADY been revisiting properties in Cragsmoor and revising assessments based on Cragsmoor residents’ feedback. All assessments will be updated and finalized in the coming weeks. You will receive the final assessment notification in the mail in the 1st week of May.
If you disagree with your final assessment notice, you may then meet with the Wawarsing Tax Assessor, Michael Sommer, and ask for relief.
You may also file a formal grievance with the Board of Assessment Review. The deadline for that filing is May 26. The process for filling the grievance is very specific. A publication, "How to File a Review of Your Assessment", complaint form RP-524 and instructions may be obtained from the ORPS website at www.tax.ny.gov.
On Sunday, April 12th, several Cragsmoor residents shared their concerns about the ReVal with Kyle Barnett, a tax attorney, who specializes in assessment grievances. He stated the following: the most effective ways to challenge an assessment is a recent (July, 2014 to the present) independent appraisal that demonstrates consistency with property values in our area.
The count-down to the end of this ReVal process is as follows:
May 1: we find out what our actual assessments are. (Some may be happy with the outcome, some may not.)
May 26: deadline to file Form RP-524 for anyone who wishes to challenge their assessment and go before the Town of Wawarsing Board of Assessment Review. (Some may be happy with the outcome, some may not.)
July 30: Those who are still not happy with their assessments after the Board of Assessment Review’s determination have the option of filing EITHER a SCAR petition locally with the Town (no attorney needed), OR to file an Article 7 petition in Supreme Court (attorney involvement strongly advised). These two paths are mutually exclusive. Once you have made your choice, you have to stick with it.
Mid-to late July: Decisions regarding your SCAR or Article 7 challenge.
Attorney Kyle Barnett is a capable and experienced attorney that is familiar with the issues in Cragsmoor, and has offered his services for Cragsmoor residents that desire legal representation in the grievance process and assistance with the RP-524. (Remember, the deadline for submitting the RP-524 is May 26.)
After the May 1 assessments are received and reviewed, if enough Cragsmoor residents wish to have an independent appraisal, we can get a “package deal” from an experience appraisal company, which would lower the price of individual appraisals. Interested parties at that point may also wish to pool resources to lower the overall attorney fees to individual residents.
If you would like to contact Mr. Barnett on your own, call him at (845) 452-5900.
If you are interested in being included in a "package deal" for individual assessments, let us know at Lonnie.Coplen@gmail.com, or speak to anyone you know is involved in this community-wide effort.
Please know that many residents are staying informed about the re-assessment and the Re-Val process. Volunteers are analyzing data, and will share their observations with any interested parties. A database is being created that may be useful for individual grievances. This will be available to all Cragsmoor residents at no cost.
Feel free to contact Pat Peters, Kathleen Muldoon, Larry Gobrecht, Lonnie Coplen and Jeff Slade with any concerns or questions you may have.
Pat Peters: 647-6264; Larry Gobrecht: 750-0227; Kathleen Muldoon: 647-6485
Check out CA’s facebook page!
Check out the Cragsmoor Association site on facebook for status and action items.Town Hall Court Room