The Village of Amityville will refund $100,000 to Village Estates condominium owners who said they were taxed at an inflated rate for three years, said Amityville village attorney Bruce Kennedy.
A village property assessor — since retired — valued the condos with a formula that relied on construction cost instead of rental income, as state law stipulates, Kennedy said.
The assessments covered the years 2006 to 2009.
Kennedy said the assessor made “a tactical mistake.” But he also said the case was a “debacle” for the village that will strain the portion of the budget devoted to property tax refunds.
The 138-unit Village Estates development, at 395 Sunrise Hwy., opened in August 2006 after village trustees granted a zoning variance for multifamily dwellings on the property. Trustees also lifted a stipulation that would have only allowed rental apartments there, Kennedy said.
In return for those concessions, he said, the project’s developers agreed to write into the condo bylaws a $500 annual per-unit fee to replace tax income that would be lost under state property assessment rules that valued condominiums lower than other dwellings.
But village trustees agreed to forgo that fee after condo owners complained in 2009.
“I’m pleased to have obtained good results on behalf of these homeowners,” said Karen Strom, a lawyer in Mineola-based firm Schroder and Strom who represented Village Estates owners in their tax review proceeding.
The condominium owners have agreed not to file any tax appeals for the next five years, she said.