Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mike Ricard and the assessment process

A quick update on our Guilderland NY town board campaign efforts:

I've been researching incumbent Town Board member Michael Ricard, his assessment, and other issues.

I created a page about Mike Ricard's Assessment showing what I found. It includes satellite images of his property from Google Maps, and photos of his house. One friend is now joking that I'm stalking Mike Ricard.

The short story on his assessment is that he has a 2500 square foot house with a 1 1/2 story garage, and a 2100 sq.ft. steel building, and an in-ground pool, all on 12 acres. He's assessed at $196K. For comparison, my house is 2200 sq.ft., with no pool, no fence, and no steel building, on half an acre. We're assessed at somewhere around $240K.

The pool (21' x 40') and fence were put in 2-3 years ago, at a cost of $29K according to the permit application. I'd bet they cost more than that, but have no evidence. The steel building was built about 5 years ago at a cost of $38K (per the application). That's roughly $80K in value (including appreciation) before you get to the 12 acres, house and garage. So his 2500 sq.ft. house on 12 acres is valued at $120K, or less than $50 per square foot. My house is assessed around $110/sq.ft. and many houses in Guilderland are assessed over $120/sq.ft.

The other interesting detail, that I will explore further in the future, is the zoning break Ricard got in putting his pool in. Despite a 50 foot setback requirement, he got a variance to put his pool 24 feet from the front property line. He whizzed through the permit and variance process in what has to be record time in Guilderland.

I'll do more about this in the near future, but assessment is still the big issue.

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