Featured Story
03/18/15 2:00pm
REPORTER ILLUSTRATION | Town Attorney Laury Dowd has proposed an amendment to the Town Code to regulate remote attendance at town committees.

REPORTER ILLUSTRATION | Town Attorney Laury Dowd has proposed an amendment to the Town Code to regulate remote attendance at town committees.

For several weeks the Town Board has discussed the issue of  members of town committees attending meetings remotely, either by a conference telephone call or videoconferencing using technology such as SKPE. (more…)

Featured Story
03/18/14 1:30pm
PETER BOODY PHOTO | Zoning Board member Neal Raymond, a former deputy county sheriff (in uniform in the photo on the wall behind him) at home with a few of his favorite things.

PETER BOODY PHOTO |
Zoning Board member Neal Raymond, a former deputy county sheriff (in uniform in the photo on the wall behind him) at home with a few of his favorite things.

Take Neal Raymond off Shelter Island and put him on a cruise to St. Kitts. You would not believe how many people come up asking for his autograph because they think he’s Larry David.

“You’ve got to laugh. We had no idea” there was a resemblance, said his wife Cathy. (more…)

05/14/13 12:50pm

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Tax Assessor Al Hammond said the town should have few worries about residents filing grievances.

Ten people have already filed tax grievances for 2013, according to Shelter Island Tax Assessor Al Hammond. On average, there are about 25-30 grievances filed with the Board of Assessment Review per year. Last year there were a total of 37 grievances, an increase from the 30 filed in 2011.

In all of Mr. Hammond’s years as Tax Assessor, the town has “never lost more than a few thousand” dollars in grievances. For instance, two properties that were assessed last year for a total of $421,700 only saved $2,500 after grievances. In an overall town budget of around $17 million, these grievances did not cost taxpayers “an arm and a leg,” Mr. Hammond said.

This year, the Board of Assessment Review will meet on “Grievance Day,” which falls on Tuesday, May 21. At this meeting, the board will hear and examine complaints at two sessions throughout the day.

Taxpayers who wish to challenge tax assessments must file a grievance form and a brief explanation of why they feel they deserve a reduction. The forms can be found online or at the Assessor’s Office. Grievances can be filed individually or through an attorney’s office. Of the 37 grievances filed in 2012, only four were filed individually. If an attorney is hired or all proper documentation is received by mail or before grievance day, the individual doesn’t need to be present at the meeting.

After the meeting on Grievance Day, the board will deliberate privately and reach a decision. Decisions are expected to take about two weeks, and board members have the final say on the outcome of tax grievances. If applicants are unsatisfied with the outcome, the case then moves to Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR).

However some cases may not even need to go through the grievance process. The staff in the Assessor’s Office is available to help guide taxpayers through the grievance process and discuss tax assessments. “People come in for a conversation, not a confrontation”, noted Mr. Hammond. He continued, “if we find that we made a mistake, we’ll fix it immediately.”

The Assessors’ Office, at 38 North Ferry Road is open to the public daily from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Any interested person can examine the 2012-2013 assessment roll as well as their own property records until Grievance Day.

The deadline for filing tax grievances is May 21.