Lou Caravella a crook? Not on these numbers

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.

5 Comments

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5 responses to “Lou Caravella a crook? Not on these numbers

  1. dogwalker

    Thanks for some hard numbers! Someone had posted that nonsense on the Greenwich Time forum. And you did not mention the fact that he is the first Tax Collector in recent memory who actually seems to think his job is to collect taxes! Imagine that!

    Disclaimer – no relation, not acquainted, etc., though having lived in town all my life I have run into him and his family here and there.

  2. lou in the loo

    lou has a great house and valued at 81K. everybody, use his house as the benchmark in your next appeal.

    the 270K valued house next door owned by an old lady on orchard st is falling down.

    lou has modernized his home and has a lower ASSESSMENT. the old lady NEXT DOOR can barely maintains it.

    lou wants to buy the old lady property someday.

    lou knows the land is worth more than home. wow.

    lou, tell your asssessor friend to at least value your home over 200K.

  3. lou's land 1.2 acre=$1.08 mill vs. neighbor's 0.58 acre = 845K Yeah that is FAIR?

    Thanks for showing us the math. Lou, shame on you. Can we get the same deal? Or will you “love your neighbor” like the good book says and change the numbers to look more like yours.

  4. Boo hoo Lou

    Download this page people.

    Look for your own eyes.

    Check Lou’s casa @ 96 Orchard (81K) vs. his neighbor @98 Orchard St (270K).

    Lou’s got a sweet deal. Happy Valentine Day but Lou is no sweetheart in this deal.

  5. Lo u..cy! Caravella's got some 'splainin" to do

    Even Ricky Riccardo can’t believe this. The Tax Collector is such a “nice guy”. Everybody is “nice” in this town. But when you study cases, you see a lot of deals that just go around that are unjust.

    Lou Caravella is getting an advantage in this assessment. His house is under-valued and his abundance of land is under-valued. Call in your friend “CEA” to evaluate 96 (Lou) vs next door 98 Orchard Street.

    Lou’s house should be at least 270K not 81K. (like his neighbor).

    Lou’s land 1.2 acre should be about $1.6 million (not 1.08 mill) if his neighbor’s land .56 acre is 850K valued.

    Didn’t Nixon also say I am not a crook. It is all in how you look at the numbers.

    Start coughing up a few more tax dollars Mr. Nixon (Caravella).

    Start protesting you Orchard St and Cos Cob folks. Or we will see you at the next assessment meeting to get low taxes like big old Lou. And pay on time Lou or we will levy a 3% penalty on you.