Schenectady County

Subway’s taxes in downtown Schenectady to drop sharply in reassessment

Despite the bustling downtown, Subway is losing its property value, according to a settlement accept

Despite the bustling downtown, Subway is losing its property value, according to a settlement accepted by the City Council on Monday.

The business’s yellow sign is 24-karat gold. The building’s facade is made of mahogany and has a stained glass window. In 2004, Draper Development spent more than $400,000 to buy, gut and renovate the building — but its 2009 assessment of $592,000 was too much, the owners said.

They filed tax complaints for 2009 through 2013, which the council settled Monday.

The council agreed to drop Subway’s assessment to $325,000, beginning in 2009.

For 2009 alone, that cut the restaurant’s bill nearly in half, with a refund due of $5,579.

Resident Jason Planck criticized the council for agreeing to the reduction.

“The property should have appreciated in value,” he said, noting the millions in taxpayer dollars spent to revitalize downtown.

“This is a slap in the face of the taxpayers,” he said.

He also noted that the council has agreed to many assessment reductions, particularly for corporations.

“You’re asking the homeowners who are not grieving [their assessments] to pay the lion’s share,” he said. “We need a reassessment.”

Council members discussed the Subway complaint — and all tax complaints — behind closed doors and did not comment on the issue. But, at committee meetings, they have informally discussed whether to consider a city-wide reassessment. They have not yet decided to even look into the matter formally.

In other business, the council agreed to pay $20,000 to city resident Brenda Long, who was hurt while pushing her grandson on a swing on June 30, 2010.

Long has permanent nerve damage in her left arm, according to her complaint filed against the city.

The injury occurred at Steinmetz Park on Lenox Road, Corporation Counsel John Polster said.

“It was one of the chains on one of the swings. Something sharp on the chain penetrated her arm,” Polster said.

City workers installed new playground equipment the next summer, using a state grant.

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