It's all about renovations at 4 Bittersweet Lane, which Lee described in interviews with USA Today, New York magazine and others.
What you need to know:
- The estate, which Lee named Lily Pond, was assessed in 2008 at $1.7 million; sold to Lee in 2008 for $ 1.2 milion; and is now assessed at $936,000, according to lohud.com.
- New Castle Building Inspector Bill Maskiell told Wilson he "had to hound" Lee to file for building permits for a gazebo and shed she had built; and that she did not apply for permits for some renovations described in those media interviews such as knocking down a wall to combine two spaces.
- Town assessment records do not include a finished basement, Wilson said.
- Cuomo aide Larry Schwartz said the renovations were purely decorative.
It's all about property taxes, argues Wilson: "Keeping one's assessment from rising — or getting it reduced — is all part of suburban living in high-tax Westchester, and there are plenty of homeowners who do work to their homes without a permit. It's also a county where most municipalities have not revalued their real estate for decades, leaving thousands of homeowners with houses assessed and taxed at less than what they are worth."