Friday, June 20, 2014

How Much Is $2.75 Million?

The City of Hudson recently settled a lawsuit with Holcim over its property tax assessment. Central to the settlement was an agreement about the fair market value of the 113 acres--14 on the waterfront, 99 in South Bay--Holcim owns in Hudson. It was agreed that $2.75 million was a fair assessment, but let's compare that amount with the selling prices of some properties in Hudson that have recently changed hands.

8 Willard Place--$625,000

529 Warren Street--$899,000
620 Union Street--$1,300,000
The prices of these three properties total $2,824,000--$74,000 more than the assessment on Holcim's 113 acres.

For what it's worth.


  1. Us vs Them is the theme song for Hudson.

    "us" being the everyday taxpayer bearing the burden

    "us" have brought up many lawsuits about controversial property taxation ... all thrown to the curb

    "them" on the other hand gets taken seriously

    this is only one glaring example of favriotism played out here without shame

  2. The 200 block of Union Street pays much moe in land (only) tax than the entire 113 acres of Holcim

  3. It's worse than that. Most of these assessment "deals" have to be approved by the school district as well, since it is a taxing authority whose income depends on these assessments. So, there is probably a significant "reimbursement" to Holcim to make up for taxes that the agreement now says shouldn't have been paid. Guess where the district gets that money? Next year's education programs -- and more burden for the little guy.

  4. Back when Cheryl Roberts, et al, thought that Holcim should get more for its money, the city awarded the private landowner the zoning regime it asked for.

    Now Holcim (or its buyer) is sitting pretty to install a conveyor system from Becraft Mountain to the river's edge just in time for us to return all that money to them (and thanks Dave and Nick for voting against).

    Meanwhile the causeway road widens, and widens, and widens ...

  5. You do have to account for that most of that land is undevelopable. (is undevelopable a word?)

  6. Indeed (maybe none at all within the City of Hudson). It's in the flood plan, about 5 to 9 feet above sea level (it needs to be about 20 feet to get out of the 100 year flood plain). It also probably has next to no comparable properties either to use to determine value. So that leaves what the present value of its net income potential is, less costs to generate such income. What income it could generate I don't know. Farmland I guess, or maybe an industrial building if it can run through all the traps of being built in a floodplain (lots and lots and lots of regulations on that, some of which seem costly with which to comply).

    I suppose a plateau maybe could be built on part of it, but that doesn't seem economic either, and in such a wetlands area, getting past all the environmental regulations would seem to be daunting.

    So in my speculative ignorance as to what the highest and best use of the property is, and how much it would cost to effect it, to me it is more akin to the property from hell than anything else from a economic standpoint. Its real value may be its positive "externalities," which in economic parlance means its value that is not internalized into its value, because non owners benefit. Think say as a nature preserve here. Or maybe a bit of it as a dog park! :)

    I would be amazed if this settlement were anything but in the best interests of Hudson, in short. In fact, it may be that the deal should have been cut, before the attorneys' fees etc. ran up, if anything.

    Just my two cents.

  7. Undeveloped until you build a causeway through it.
    Just who do they think they are fooling

  8. Also "most" of their land is not in the flood plain

  9. Deep Water Port./Causeway.That's all it's about.
    Last year , Holcim(US)Inc. was willing to give the rest away to Hudson as long as the City did what they were told to do by Holcim or whomever they sold it to, concerning the Causeway and Deepwater Port , for the next 50 yrs, (which is their calculation when they will have mined out their Quarries) and then Hudson could have the Port and Causeway. Mayor and C.C. were all for that sucker's deal, BUT then Holcim changed their mind ,since they can do what they want anyway.
    That stupid low assessment will be a nice incentive for Holcim to negotiate the sale of their operation,when the time comes.
    Nice for them, sucks for us.Someone has to pay taxes around here. So thrilled, I get to help subsidize the world's largest cement corporation,owned by the Swiss.

  10. If Holcim wants to develop the land, the city will support them. there is the history of screwing itself

  11. Expecting Moore tax from an industry crippled by the bedroom community is unrealistic.

    And, beware what you ask for, if (higher) taxes go unpaid, the "development" corporations can take it and then sell it in exchange for campaign contributions, after paving a four lane causeway.