On February 23, the lawsuit brought by the Hudson Property Owners Coalition (HPOC) against the City of Hudson, the City Assessor, the Board of Assessment Review, the Hudson City School District, and Columbia County, alleging that Hudson's 2010 assessment roll was illegal and invalid and should be declared void, was dismissed in the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, on a motion from the respondents.
Two days earlier, on February 21, the Common Council passed a resolution authorizing a property tax settlement with the owners of Hudson Fabrics. Hudson Fabrics, too, had brought a lawsuit against the City of Hudson, challenging their 2011 assessment, which set the value of their property at more than $2 million. The property, at the far north end of Second Street, in the midst of what had at one time been a county dump, has been on the market for some time. Recently, Hudson Fabrics entered into an agreement to sell the property for $770,000--a little more than a third of its assessed value. Approximately $104,780 was owed in back taxes, including interest and penalties, and the City had placed a lien on the property. In the proposed settlement, Hudson Fabrics would pay $85,000 for full satisfaction for the tax year 2011. The settlement was a condition of sale of the property to Premier Brands of America, the company that plans to open a facility there that will create twenty-five new jobs.
The resolution authorizing the settlement passed but not unanimously. First Ward Alderman Larissa Parks voted nay; Third Ward Alderman Chris Wagoner abstained. In the discussion that preceded the vote, Wagoner commented that, considering the out of line assessments in Hudson in recent years, he feared this settlement was just the tip of the iceberg. When asked by Gossips why she voted to reject the settlement, Parks explained that she believed people needed to pay what they owed in taxes even if the assessment on which the taxes were based was in question.