Taxes in Philipstown

Those who pay, and those who don’t

By Chip Rowe

Philipstown tax payments were due Jan. 31, or by Feb. 28 with a 1 percent penalty.

The rate for taxes due to the town, Putnam County, local libraries and the Garrison Fire Company is about $15,000 per $1 million in assessed property value, which is 47 percent of estimated market value.

For the Garrison school district, which collects its taxes in the fall, the rate is about $20,400 per $1 million, plus $173 for the Desmond-Fish Library. For Haldane, the rate is about $35,700 per $1 million plus $138 for the Butterfield Library.

Top 10 Taxpayers in Cold Spring

The following data was taken from public records compiled by the Town of Philipstown, Garrison and Haldane school districts, Putnam County and New York State.

10 Largest Bills

The totals below typically include multiple properties. For example, BMR Funding LLC, of Greenwich, Connecticut, owns 19 parcels in Philipstown, including 1,168 acres in Lake Valhalla.

The figures show the total assessed values in 2016 of all properties owned by each entity, followed by an estimate of the taxes paid, including school taxes.

  1. New York State, $33.2 million ($1.2 million)
  2. Garrison Golf Club, $5.3 million ($189,000)
  3. Central Hudson, $5.2 million ($185,000)
  4. Mark and Angela Williams, $4.8 million ($171,000)
  5. BMR Funding LLC, $3.2 million ($163,000)
  6. Nancy Spanu, $2.7 million ($95,000)
  7. Verizon, $2.6 million ($93,000)
  8. New York City, $2.6 million ($92,000)
  9. Sounds in the Grass, $2.5 million ($90,000)
  10. Cloudbank House LLC, $2.5 million ($88,000)

10 Largest Unpaid Bills

The 10 largest debtors in Philipstown over the past three years owe a total of $608,000 as of Feb. 13, according to the county Finance Department. The owners of the 10-acre industrial property on the southwest corner of Lane Gate Road and Route 9 owe $118,000; the remainder of the top 10 are homeowners in arrears for a total of $35,000 to $82,000 each. When a property tax bill is not paid, Putnam County places a lien on the property. If it remains unpaid for several years, the county attempts to foreclose.

10 Largest Exemptions

This list excludes STAR rebates, which in 2016 exempted about $64 million worth of property from school taxes. The figures below are the assessed value of property, by category, that is exempt from town, county and school taxes, and an estimate of the taxes that would be collected if it were on the rolls. (Here is a full list of property tax exemptions available in New York state.)

  1. Religious: $52.4 million ($1.86 million)
  2. Educational: $25.6 million ($911,000)1
  3. Government: $25.2 million ($896,000)2
  4. Nonprofits: $17 million ($607,000)3
  5. Veterans: $13.2 million ($440,000)4
  6. School districts: $12.3 million ($438,000)
  7. Low-income: $6.5 million ($230,000)5
  8. Volunteer fire/ambulance: $4.5 million ($159,000)
  9. Railroad: $2.4 million ($85,000)
  10. Farmland: $1.4 million ($50,000)6
1. This includes land preserved by the Open Space Institute and Scenic Hudson.
2. This includes land owned by the town, village, county, state and federal governments, including parks and cemeteries.
3. This includes properties such as Stonecrop Gardens, Boscobel, Garrison’s Landing, Lake Surprise Camp, the Fresh Air Farm and Manitoga.
4. There are a number of categories, including disabled, combat and Cold War. In addition, not all categories receive exemptions from county, town and school taxes.
5. This includes residents who are disabled and/or over the age of 65.
6. This includes agricultural parcels such as those at Lanza Farms and Saunders Farm in Garrison.

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3 thoughts on “Taxes in Philipstown

  1. Thanks very much for this informative article which once again tells the truth about our outrageous property taxes. I find it amazing that some of the individuals named pay nearly as much in taxes as the Central Hudson utility company. Also surprising were the amounts granted for exemptions which are then paid for by the rest of the residents.

    People need to remove their eyes from their screens and look around to see what they are getting from the government for all that hard-earned money. The county is one local entity that should be held accountable for its greed. Really, what benefits do Philipstown and Cold Spring actually receive for the millions they send to Carmel every year? I can think of a few like the very valuable sheriff’s patrol and some of the road repairs, but that’s about it. The equation is very lopsided.

    I came across this short video about affordability in New York state. It says a lot about the Hudson Valley. https://www.reclaimnewyork.org/affordability/hudson-valley

  2. A correction regarding the farmland exemptions: These are not full exemptions but reduced. I had given the total of assessed value exemption at $4.4 million, or about $157,000 in taxes, for farms. In fact, there are 12 parcels in Philipstown that receive agricultural reductions for county, town and school taxes, that total $1.4 million, which translates to about $50,000 in taxes. This has been corrected above. Also, the exemption only applies to farmland, not the farmer’s home.

    Looking back at original figures (at data.ny.gov), I also made this mistake with other categories that do not receive full exemptions, namely veterans, low-income residents and volunteer fire and ambulance, so I have adjusted the list above and will also reprint the corrected list in the paper this week.

    Chip Rowe
    Managing Editor

  3. It’s understandable that one would seek to reduce their taxes as much as possible. At the federal level it’s a reasonable enough pursuit. However, at the school and local level, one owner’s exemption is their neighbor’s burden. Each of these exemptions requires the rest of us to subsidize it through an increase in our own taxes. Of course, there is a legal allowance to enjoy an exemption, and many property owners may have actually earned that exemption. But the ethics, the neighborliness and the community impact of some of these exemptions is questionable. It’s merely shifting the taxes from one side of the fence to the other. Perhaps, considering a donation to your local school foundation would be a good way to offset the guilt.