Sam’s Point Property Finally on Tax Rolls

January 23, 2007

The Village of Ellenville, Town of Wawarsing, Ellenville Central School District and Cragsmoor Fire Districts will soon receive additional tax revenues, thanks to the news that the tax status of property at Sam’s Point purchased by the Open Space Institute from the Village of Ellenville in 1997 has been finalized.

This is a victory for Mayor Jeffrey Kaplan, Village Manager Elliott Auerbach and others who have waged a long battle to finalize this deal. Initially, at the time of the sale to OSI, Village officials were assured that, as part of the consideration for the transfer, the nearly 4000 acre property would be placed on the local tax rolls within two to three years.

Assemblymember Kevin Cahill (D-Ulster, Dutchess) had been working to move this deal towards completion since the fall 2003 when he was contacted by officials from the entities that were to benefit from the tax windfall. One after another, they spoke of the frustrating complexities of dealing with the bureaucracies that had to coordinate this undertaking.

After initially speaking with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Mr. Cahill’s office had dozens of conversations with representatives of the Attorney General’s Office, the Open Space Institute and Palisades Interstate Park Commission regarding this parcel. Indeed, it was clear that this conveyance was mired in the deepest of bureaucratic trenches, and perhaps might never come to pass.

Recently, after repeated calls, Mr. Cahill finally was able to ascertain from Robert Anderberg, Vice-President and General Counsel, Open Space Institute, that his agency was in the last stages of determining the date when lands would be returned to tax rolls. Late last week, Mr. Cahill learned that the last hurdle had been cleared and this action had taken place.

“It is great news that the land, formally conveyed to the Palisades Interstate Park Commission on September 25, 2006, is now on the tax rolls,” said Mr. Cahill. “I commend the patience and perseverance of our local leaders who kept on top of this all these years and am pleased that our combined efforts have finally proved fruitful.”