Town of SF, Seneca Meadows settle assessment dispute

In a joint press release, Seneca Meadows, Inc., the Town of Seneca Falls, the Seneca County Real Property Tax Department, and the Waterloo School District announced, today, that an agreement has been reached regarding the 2007 to 2016 assessment of 581 acres of property owned by Seneca Meadows. The agreement sets the value of the properties at $6.5M, provides a reduction to $5M for 2014-2015, and refunds a portion of the property tax overpayments in an agreed upon schedule.The challenge of the assessment was initiated by a valuation change in the assessment of the 581 acres from$2M in 2006 to $11.8M in 2007, with no development occurring on the properties. Seneca Meadows did not pursue reimbursement for the overpayment of taxes for the full seven years.“We feel that the agreement is fair,” said Don Gentilcore, Area Manager for Seneca Meadows. “All parties worked together to implement an equitable solution for the benefit of everyone involved, and avoid litigation. The agreement will provide the Waterloo School District and the County with significant property tax revenue moving forward.”The Town of Seneca Falls and the Waterloo Central School District are satisfied with the terms of the settlement.  Town Supervisor Don Earle presented the settlement to the Town Board, which approved the agreement at its May 6th meeting.  Supervisor Earle stated that the “agreement brings to an end seven years of complicated tax assessment litigation.  The Town, as well as the Waterloo Central School District and Seneca County, have obtained certainty as to property tax revenue from Seneca Meadows going forward for the next three tax years.  This certainty, taken together with Seneca Meadows agreeing not to institute new tax challenges for the next three years, make this an agreement which is in the best interests of the Town.”Seneca Meadows is the fourth largest, private industrial employer in Seneca County, and has an annual economic impact of $20M on the local economy through its benefits agreements with the Towns of Seneca Falls and Waterloo, local payroll, local vendor support, charitable support, and property taxes.

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