A couple of readers wrote yesterday stating that our Tax Collector, Lou Caravella, was benefiting from a super low assessment on his own Orchard Street property while socking it to his neighbors. I was shocked to hear that suggested because the man has always struck me as one of the good guys but I pulled the tax cards to check. What a juicy story, if true.
It isn’t true. Caravella’s place at 96 Orchard Street shows a market value of $1,165,600 (70% assessed value, $815,920). This for a 1921 house on 1.287 acres, 2,108 sq.ft in aluminum siding. 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, garage.
98 Orchard has a market value of $1,117,600 ($782,380) for an 1871 house on 0.5785 acre, 2030 sq.ft., aluminum siding. 4 bedrooms, 2 full baths, greenhouse and garage.
100 Orchard (owned by the late Ada Cantavero, of Riverside’s Ada’s) has a market value of $738,300 ($516,810) for a 1936 house on 0.4236 acres, 684 sq. ft., 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, no garage.
If someone wanted to raise an eyebrow they might look at the land values assigned to each property. The Caravella 1.2 acres is valued at $1,084,200 and the house at only $81,400.
98 Orchard’s numbers are: $843,700 land, $273,900 building.
100 Orchard’s numbers are: $710,100 land, $28,200 building.
All parcels are in the R-12 zone so there may be subdivision possibilities for all or some of the three. I won’t go there because (a) I haven’t seen the land and can’t possibly opine on that and (b) who’s buying land these days? Is the Caravella house worth just $81,400 while the house next door, roughly the same size, worth $273,900? Again, I haven’t seen the places but if their conditions are dramatically different, sure. Neither number shocks me.
So those are my conclusions. I figured that, since I posted the allegations, I had a duty to Mr. Caravella to look into them and, so far as I can tell, they’re unfounded. Those who disagree, fire away – so long as your language is clean and you avoid completely off-the-wall accusations (Caravella may indeed be an alien but I don’t want to know about it) I’ll post them.