A private club in New Canaan has filed a lawsuit in state Superior Court protesting the town’s recent assessment of its property. The New Canaan Field Club filed an appeal May 16 in State Superior Court that challenges the town’s decision to uphold a recent $4.4 million assessment of its Smith Ridge Road property. As part of the town-wide revaluation, an assessment 164 Smith Ridge Road, an approximately 11.3-acre property that includes a new pavilion, took place Oct. 1. The valuation is “grossly excessive, disproportionate and unlawful” attorney Michael D. Reiner of Farmington-based Greene Law, P.C. said in the appeal, received May 20 by the Town Clerk.
The China-based owner of two contiguous Laurel Road parcels last week appealed the town’s decision to uphold its assessment of the properties. Completed during October’s revaluation, the assessments of 360 and 364 Laurel Road are “grossly excessive, disproportionate and unlawful,” according to a lawsuit filed May 14 in state Superior Court by attorney Aldo Pascarella of the Greenwich-based Pascarella Law Firm PC.
The Town Clerk received the complaints May 10. According to tax records, 360 Laurel Road is a two-acre property that includes a 2004-built Colonial. It was assessed at about $1.8 million. And 364 Laurel Road is a 4.43-acre property that includes a 1942-built, 9,000-square-foot home.
JP Morgan Chase Bank last week filed an appeal in state Superior Court that challenges the town’s decision to uphold a recent $4.8 million assessment of its Main Street building.
The bank also is suing New Canaan over the Board of Assessment Appeals’ decision to uphold its $2.4 million valuation of a drive-thru facility off of East Avenue, according to court filings. The valuations of 122 Main St. and 21 East Ave. are “grossly excessive, disproportionate and unlawful,” attorney Steven Nagengast of New York City-based Janata, Lacap & Hazen LLP said in the appeal, received May 7 by the Town Clerk. “The applicant is aggrieved by the action of the Board of Assessment Appeals of the town in that, as the taxpayer of the subject real property, it will be responsible for its property taxes based upon the unlawful assessment if the action of the Board of Assessment Appeals is upheld,” the suit said. Also on May 7, the Town Clerk received an appeal filed on behalf of the owner of commercial property on Cross Street that challenges the Board’s decision to uphold the town’s $5.9 million assessment.
The town last week received three lawsuits filed on behalf of three property owners appealing New Canaan’s decision to uphold assessments finalized during the recent revaluation. The owners of 90 Main Street and 18 Forest Street (a limited liability company whose principal is listed in state records as a Norwalk woman), 1124 Valley Road (the First Taxing District of Norwalk) and 61 Elm St. (an LLC controlled by a Manhattan man) each appealed before the New Canaan Board of Assessment Appeals in March what they determined to be “grossly excessive, disproportionate and unlawful” valuations, according to the suits, filed by attorney Frank Murphy of Norwalk’s Tierney, Zullo, Flaherty & Murphy PC. In each case, the Board upheld the assessments, the lawsuit said. The properties are well known to New Canaanites—90 Main St.
The owner of an 8,700-square-foot commercial building on Elm Street last week filed a claim in state Superior Court appealing the town’s decision to preserve its assessment of the property from last fall.
In its October revaluation, the town assessed the two-story structure at 111 Elm St. at $3,063,480, a figure that is “grossly excessive, disproportionate and unlawful,” according to a lawsuit filed April 18 by attorneys Gary Klein and Liam Burke of Stamford-based Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP.
The property owner, a Southport-based limited liability company whose principal lives in Palm Beach, Fla., sought relief from the New Canaan Board of Assessment Appeals but that appointed body made no changes, “thereby denying the relief the Applicant requested,” according to the complaint. “The applicant is aggrieved by the decision,” it said. The property owners is seeking a reduction and to be reimbursed for any tax overpayment with interest, according to the suit.
Town officials said during the budget season that wrapped up this month that the real estate portion of New Canaan’s Grand List—a tally of all taxable property in the town—is expected to decline by about $37.6 million following post-revaluation assessment appeals. Given New Canaan’s anticipated mill rate of 18.259, that makes for a reduction of about $672,000 in town revenue, officials said.