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Category Archives: Zoning Enforcement Officer

Board of Education Member James “Hadji” Latter: Is he paying his fair share of property taxes?

In the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District, the name James “Hadji“* Latter has a murky history. He’s been able to stay on the RCS-CD Board of Education for a number of years now, not because of his tidy background and performance record, but because the RCS-CD is just a corrupt and manipulated as any other “elected” body in the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk/Albany County region, including New Baltimore and Greene County. But New Baltimore, although in Greene County, pays a portion of their property taxes to support the bloated budget of the RCS-CD and the idiotic programs approved by a board of back-scratchers and cronies.

* “Hadji” is our nickname for James Latter II because of his close associations with the Saudi Arabian company SABIC.

We have reported in the past about Latter’s questionable conduct on the board but when you are dealing with a group who love their power to spend public money, and then ask for more and then make decisions that affect the school age young people in the district and their futures. It’s hard for them to let go and share the responsibility or even to acknowledge and consult the public. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and the RCS Central School District Board of Education is no exception. Least of all Mr James Latter II.

That’s why, when a local resident drew our attention to the parking and traffic situation in the Village of Ravena in connection with our recent investigation of Village of Ravena Code Enforcement and, while guiding us around on the grand tour of the many Village of Ravena parking opportunities — in no less than six public parking areas less than one block from the commercial district of Village Center —, and that resident pointed out and commented on a particularly ostentatious eyesore of recent construction on a large lot on Aluise Drive, just in back of the huge lot owned by the Roman Catholic Church of St Patrick, we got curious.

That’s when sitting RCS Central School District Board of Education member James J. “Hadji” Latter II again waddled into the spotlight in his usual murky and questionable style.

You see, Latter and wifey, Amanda C. (Mrs Hadji) purchased two large adjacent lots (total acreage 6.5 acres, cost $101,000) on Aluise Drive in the Village. The lots were previously owned by the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Patrick (Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany) but were sold off and Latter was in the pews ready to close the deal. Was that because former BoE member and crooked cop Gerald “Dirty Hands Jery” Deluca was high up in the Church’s lay administration and an insider? Probably. Latter and “Dirty Hands” Jerry were thick as flies on fresh summer sh*t. So here we have another questionable business deal in Ravena, Home of the Incest Club, and the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Patrick, an Incest Club meeting place, probably brokered by “Dirty Hands Jerry” Deluca before he was forced out (“resigned”) of the Coeymans Police Department with former dunce Coeymans Police Chief Gregory “Dumplin” Darlington was canned (“retired”), and disgraced town/village justice Phil Crandall was elected to be Coeymans Town Supervisor. You really can’t make this stuff up!!!

Our investigations to date have revealed the following interesting and questionable situations. But please note: This information is preliminary and is based on our research in the Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans using immediately available information, that is, information we could get on the spot without the formal F.O.I.L procedure (demanding production of public access documents and information under the provisions of the New York State Public Officers Law), and our vetting of that information on official New York state tax online sites. We have demanded the production of documents that will provide finer details of the transactions and Mr Latter’s operations but that may take some time, given Mr Latter’s position and his “friends” in Village and Town offices.

The properties are listed in the official property tax documents as belonging to James and Amanda Latter of 13 Laura Drive, Ravena, New York. Note that address because we’ll be returning to that information shortly.

James “Hadji” and Amanda Latter posing with Hillary Clinton.
Birds of a feather…!

New York State Law Requires the Assessor to Assess Property Under Construction

In some states a new construction is not subject to assessment for tax purposes until it is completed and a certificate of occupancy is issued. The situation in New York State is different, however, here in New York state there is the so-called partial assessment.

Sitting Board of Education Member James Latter’s new house he will be sharing with teacher wife Amanda Latter.
It’s at 9 Aluise Drive in Ravena, in back of St Patrick’s Church.

New construction assessments are placed on the assessment roll based on the partial market value if the construction is in process or the market value of the completed construction as of March 1st, and that assessment is used to compute the school tax bill issued in September and the county, town, and special district tax bill issued the following January.

9 Aluise Drive. Behind St Patricks RC Church and next to the P.B. Coeymans Elementary School.

In the case of a partial assessment, the market value of the home is determined by using the completion percentage of the construction as of March 1st. If the construction is partially complete as of March 1st, the assessment will represent only a percentage of the total property tax assessment when the construction is completed.  A partial assessment will be place on the tax roll as a “partial”, and increased each year until the construction is 100% complete.

In New York State, the assessor is required to value the property exactly as he or she finds it on taxable status date, that is on March 1st. The Assessor is required by New York State law to value property in its condition on that date. A partially completed building will receive a partial assessment based on its estimated percentage of completion as of March 1st. If your house is under construction on March 1, its estimated percentage of completion on that date will be the basis for the assessment

The property was assessed at a time when the progress of the entire construction project was measured and recorded as a partial assessment. An assessment calendar requires that a property review be based on where the progress of the construction is at the time, and the assessment be based on the progress at the cut-off date on the calendar year. The property has to appear on the tax roll for taxes to be paid in the following year.

The law would require that the Latter construction be assessed in it’s state of construction on March 1st. It was not. This partial assessment procedure was not followed in Latter’s case and Latter’s property was not assessed in part while under construction and, though completed, the Town of Coeymans Assessor was unaware of the construction and the property has not yet been assessed! Mr Latter is not paying his fair share of property taxes. Mr Latter is not paying his fair share of his school taxes to the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District. Mr Latter should be required to resign from his position on the Board of Education for such malconduct.


We did some research and found that the latest tax information on the property at 9 Aluise Drive in Ravena doesn’t show a thing about any new construction and lists it as vacant land. But there’s a house on it that looks as if it’s market value would be at least $200,000!!! What is the deal here? We all have to pay our property taxes and a big part of those taxes go to the schools. Latter is on the Board of Education and decides on the school budget and how much we have to pay but it looks like he’s scamming the Town of Coeymans, whose Assessor wasn’t even aware the house was there — even though you can almost see it from Coeymans Town Hall!!!

Extract of New York State Real Property Report for one of the Latter Lots (where the house is standing).

New York State real property tax assessment law requires that a new construction be assessed as a partial assessment if it’s not completed by the date of March 1st of any year. That means that whatever part of Latter’s house that was completed by March 1, 2018, should have been assessed at that percentage of the total value of the house. But it wasn’t and we all want to know Why?

Another inconsistency is this: James Latter and Amanda Latter list their address of record as being 13 Laura Lane in the Village of Ravena. A bit more research shows that 13 Laura Lane in the Village of Ravena is owned by Anthony and Ann Carrk, not by the Latters. True, the Latters could be renting from Amanda’s parents all these years but isn’t that a stretch? Could be true, though. Maybe Jimmy “Hadji” or Amanda could shed some light on this question. Or maybe Anthony or Ann Carrk can explain the living conditions and how so many could be living in that tiny hovel on Laura Lane.

13 Laura Lane and 9 Aluise Drive. Where do the Latters live?

If you ask the Village of Ravena Building Department Joe Burns, he willl tell you that they issue the building permit for new constructions, do the code enforcement inspections, and when the construction is done, they issue the certificate of occupancy. The Town of Coeymans Sole Assessor Dawn DeRose will tell you that they are notified by the Village of Ravena when the construction is finished. But that’s doesn’t explain why a partial assessment of the Latters’ property wasn’t done by the Town of Coeymans according the New York State Real Property Law. You’d think Town of Coeymans Sole Assessor Dawn DeRose would know better.

This just in: According to a very simple document provided to the Town of Coeymans by the Village of Ravena entitled “Village of Ravena, Building Projects Completed in July 2018” the Village of Ravena provides a one-liner notification of Latter’s construction project. That’s all. The document provides only the following information:

The Bare Bones Provided to the Town of Coeymans Assessor.

The above document provided by the Town of Coeymans in response to a F.O.I.L. demand clearly shows that Latter’s new construction was likely completed by March 2018 and is valued at $300,000. Even if it were not completed it would have been substantially completed and should have been assessed and on the tax rolls!!! It is not. A 1728 square foot two-story home with attached garage can represent a pretty fair amount of tax revenue, even if only subject to a partial assessment. Our question is: Why wasn’t the information provided to the Town of Coeymans Assessor when the building permit was issued? Why was it provided only after a Certificate of Occupancy was issued on July 3, 2018!!! Latter saved a pretty penny thanks to the Village of Ravena’s substandard reporting procedures. We’re certain the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance will be very interested in this case and will likely want to investigate how many other similar cases have gotten past the Assessor and the Tax Department.

Ravena will tell you it’s not their problem because they don’t have an assessor; the assessments are done by the Town of Coeymans Assessor. Coeymans will tell you that they don’t police the Village of Ravena and the Village of Ravena has to tell Coeymans what’s going on so that the assessor can do his assessments. Latter will likely tell us that he doesn’t know anything about all this. Sounds like a really shady case of finger-pointing or passing the buck here, now that the cat’s hit the fan and yet another problem in Village of Ravena-Town of Coeymans communications is revealed. Don’t you think it’s high time the Village and the Town started communicating? Now the community is losing property tax money from a select few that managed to drop below the assessment radar. That’s just not fair and it’s not legal. Someone has to answer for this illegal conduct and investigate how many other similar cases have cheated the Town out of tax dollars.

This is another case for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, Real Property Division, and the Office of the New York State Comptroller. Rest assured they’ll be informed of all relevant details.

Do the Village or Ravena and the Town of Coeymans need a Special Audit?

But isn’t Latter a Board of Education member elected by the deaf-dumb-and-blind voters of the Town of Coeymans? Doesn’t he put together the school budget that gets funded in major part by our property taxes as assessed by the Office of the Assessor. And isn’t Latter a so-called “financial analyst” at SABIC? Wouldn’t you expect him to know about property taxes, assessments, etc.?

Ignorance is no excuse
Village and Town are Accessories.


Editor’s Aside: Diverting a bit from Mr James “Hadji” Latter’s past malconduct while a Board of Education member and later as president of the Board of Education that ranged from violations of confidentiality to a laundry list of questionable conduct and associations, he seems to have allied himself with a clique that manages to get elected no matter what. Probably by friends and family and a bit of influence peddling. But Latter is a decision maker on the Board of Education that hires the Superintendent of Schools for the RCS Central School District who runs the schools and manages the teachers. Latter’s Board hired a former principal/teacher from the RCS high-school as Superintendent at an astronomical salary, and others in turn to other posts.

“Hadji” Latter and his cronies have considerable influence on what gets taught by whom in our schools but he is obviously a supporter of Hillary Clinton. What’s worse still, is the fact that he is employed as a financial analyst at the Saudi Arabian company SABIC!!!

The SABIC flag flying near one of the company’s cogeneration towers in Feura Bush.

SABIC (Saudi Basic Industries Corporation) is a Saudi diversified manufacturing company, active in petrochemicals, chemicals, industrial polymers, fertilizers, and metals. It is the largest public company in Saudi Arabia, as listed in Tadawul, but the Saudi government still owns 70% of its shares. SABIC is also the largest listed company in the Middle East. Private shareholders are from Saudi Arabia and other countries of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Saudi SABIC

While Saudi Arabia is often a secondary source of funds and support for terror movements who can find more motivated and ideologically invested benefactors (e.g. Qatar), Saudi Arabia arguably remains the most prolific sponsor of international Islamist terrorism, allegedly supporting groups as disparate as the Afghanistan Taliban, Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Al-Nusra Front. Saudi Arabia is said to be the world’s largest source of funds and promoter of Salafist jihadism, which forms the ideological basis of terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda, Taliban, Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan) and others.

This is one of the guys you elected to run your school system!!!


We’re staying on top of this one and will publish the information provided by the Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans in response to our F.O.I.L demands as it becomes available.

Yes. We know.
But let’s see what you say when the cat hits the fan.
JUST PAY YOUR TAXES!!!
The Editor

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, Accountability, Albany, Amanda Latter, Ann Carrk, Anthony Carrk, Assessment, Bill Bailey, Board of Education Member, Brian Bailey, Capital District, Church of St Patrick, Code Enforcement Officer, Code Violation, Coeymans, Coeymans Assessor, Coeymans Code Enforcement, Columbia-Greene Media, Daily Mail, Donna Degnen, Fair Play, Gerald Deluca, Gordon Bennett, Government, Greene County News, Henry Traver, Incompetence, James Latter, James Latter II, Jason Hyslop, Jeff Ruso, Jerry "Dirty-Hands" Deluca, Joe Burns, Joe Tanner, John B. Johnson, Joseph Burns, Joseph Tanner, Mark Vinciguerra, Mayor "Mouse", Mayor "Mouse" Misuraca, Michael J. Biscone, Moose Misuraca, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, Nancy Warner, New Baltimore Assessor, New York, New York State, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, News Herald, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Office of the Comptroller, Official Misconduct, Partial Assessment, Phil Crandall, Property Taxes, Public Corruption, Public Office, Public Safety, Ravena, Ravena Building Inspector, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Central School District, Ravena News Herald, RCS Board of Education, RCS Central School District, RCS School Superintendant, RCS Superintendent of Schools, Real Property Tax Law, Sabic, Sante Debacco, Selkirk Cogen, Shame On You, Smalbany, Tax Avoidance, Tax Evasion, Tax Evasion, Taxation, Thomas E. Dolan, Tom Dolan, Village of Ravena, Village of Ravena Building Department, William Bailey, William Bailey, William Misuraca, William Misuraca, Zoning Enforcement Officer

 

Ravena Still Ignores Oaths of Office and Rights Protected by State and Federal Constitutions!!!

We have just received a report from a resident and property owner in the Village of Ravena. It looks like elected officials and public servants are again playing their Gestapo games and ignoring residents’ rights and the laws of this state and country. This resident is one of the few that actually came forward with his experiences. We have spoken to a number of others who have similar stories of Ravena’s targeting residents for everything from a children’s swimming pool on their property to “discarded rubbish,” without any further specifics.

Science has shown that incest can generate stupid people. That may explain Ravena Village Hall.

We have reported in the past about Ravena’s in-crowd and their total disconcern for the rights of residents and citizens. Here’s what our reader writes about one of the more recent violations of guaranteed and protected rights by our self-important public servants of nepotism, conspiracy, and conflicts of interests.

Our reader writes:

It’s been a long time since I’ve contacted the Editor and left a comment on the Smalbany blog. I think I’ll call this “Full circle.” Yesterday I received what appears to be two citations in the mail from the village of Ravena apparently notifying me of code violations.

For your information and as illustrations, I am also providing you by emailing you a copy of the correspondence and pictures of what the Code Enforcement officer is referring to. It’s pretty much self explanatory that Mr. Ron Hohman, so-called Zoning Enforcement Officer, is a bit ignorant and illiterate. He’s also in violation of his oath of office because he’s violated the protected rights assured by the New York State and the United States Constitution, both of which he’s sworn to support. I guess he’s overlooked the 14th amendment and the laws relating to violations of private property rights.

As you can see in one of the notices, he’s concerned about a vehicle parked in my driveway in the back of my building. The other violation” cites so called “discarded rubbish.” Any property in the back of my building is far from “discarded rubbish,” and I do take offence that Mr. Hohman, overreaching his authorities and unlawfully entering my private property, further offends me by describing my property as “discarded rubbish.” First of all, who is Mr. Hohman to decide what is “discarded” and what is “rubbish.” Being the curious person I am, I went to Ravena Village Hall to ask them what their official definition of “rubbish” might be, simply commenting that the violation is so vague, and I couldn’t find any “discarded rubbish” on my property.

Mr. Hohman’s notification of a zoning violation because I have an unplated vehicle on my property, in my driveway, and the suggestion that it is not operating or roadworthy, raised other questions. First of all, Is Mr. Hohman a qualified automotive mechanic? Did he make an inspection of the vehicle to determine whether it operates or not? Highly unlikely on both counts. I am also concerned that Mr. Hohman actually entered my property to obtain the Vehicle Identification Number from the registration sticker, something that is invisible from the street and you’d have to get up real close to be able to see it. In other words, Mr. Hohman trespassed on my private property to get the VIN. Violation of my protected constitutional rights and something that will have repercussions very soon in terms of criminal charges.

But what has the vehicle to do with the zoning status of my property? Obviously, Mr. Hohman and the Village of Ravena have opened a can of worms, AGAIN! I had and still have a lot of unanswered questions.

I have lived in the Village of Ravena for more than 25 years, I am a responsible property owner, and a participating member of my community. I am respectful and courteous to everyone. I think I’m not asking too much for respect and courtesy from my elected officials and our public servants. I reasonably expected the courtesy of a knock on the door, perhaps? Is that too much to ask, Mr. Hohman? On the day the notifications were issued, that is, if the date of August 1, 2018, is truthful, I was home all day and nobody knocked on my door, least of all Mr. Hohman from the Village, to get permission to be on my property or even to talk to me informally about any suspected violations. Furthermore, the only way to get any facts or information for both alleged “violations,” if they are violations at all, was that Hohman had to accessed my property to see what’s actually behind a 6ft fence! How does Hohman justfy this criminal trespassing? Hohman had to go to some trouble to see around the neatly arranged trash containers at the edge of my property.

Back to my “Full Circle” quote. The reason why I’m saying “full circle” because some 25 years ago the Ravena Zoning Board held a meeting and then a special meaning about my property without my knowledge or inviting me to comment, again yet another violation of the right of due process and fair hearing. Ravena has a long history of violating constitutional and protected rights: They accused me, tried me, convicted me, and then sent me my sentence without fair hearing. That’s Ravena for you. My attorney at the time, an now retired, read them the riot act in a letter informing them that their conduct was a gross violation of my constitutional rights. They have very short memories apparently.

You’ve written a lot about the Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans’ violation of citizens’ and residents’ rights without any form of due process or concern for the New York State or United States Constitutions and the Bill of Rights. They have sworn oaths to support the constitutions and thus to defend our rights and the laws of the state of New York and this great country, but they ignore their duties, their obligations, and their oaths of office. It’s become commonplace in Ravena and the surrounding area and it has to stop. We have rights as citizens and we all deserve due process and fair hearing, it’s guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and the Constitution!

I look forward chatting with you because you can’t make this stuff up, and the pictures and the violations speak for themselves.

Letters from Mr Ron Hohman, Village of Ravena Code/Zoning Enforcement Officer.

The laws simply do not use the word “rubbish”

We’ve done our research and wanted to know first of all what “discarded rubbish” is supposed to mean. There are two problems with Mr Hohman’s use of the phrase: Firstly, rubbish is not a legal term with a reliable definition. if you look for a legal definition of “rubbish” you’ll probably be redirected to the legal notion of “waste,” as in “solid waste” etc. The laws simply do not use the word “rubbish,” so we can say that the use of the undefined term in the notification has no legal impact or effect.

Resident’s Back Yard Seen from Street. No “rubbish.”

Waste is actually a subjective concept, because things that some people discard may be of value to others

In fact, our research shows that “waste” refers to unwanted substances that people generally tend to dump.  Depending upon the locale and common language waste is also sometimes referred to as rubbish, trash, garbage, or junk. One point is very clear, though, waste is actually a subjective concept, because things that some people discard may be of value to others. It is a natural part of the ecological cycle. It is created when living organisms take in materials and excrete them after use. Waste can be recycled by other living organisms. Discarded home appliances, kitchen waste, sewage sludge, manufacturing waste, packaging waste, old paint containers, biological waste, and hospital waste are all examples of waste. Waste is classified into different types based upon their sources and nature. Solid waste, biodegradable waste, hazardous waste, medical waste, e-waste, yard waste, construction and demolition waste, agricultural waste, and mining waste are the different types of waste.

Resident’s Back Yard viewed from 2nd floor porch. No “rubbish.”

Ravena Code Enforcement Officer Ron Hohman makes no sense.

Another question that arises is how Mr Hohman determined that whatever it is he is referring to as “rubbish,” or more properly put, waste, is in fact “discarded.” Discarded means “unwanted,” “dumped,” “junked,” etc. Fact is, Hohman has no way of knowing whether anything at all is “rubbish” in terms of being “waste,” and furthermore, Hohman has no way of knowing that the property to which his is referring as being “rubbish” has actually been “discarded.” Hohman makes no sense. But that’s not surprising for Ravena and its neighbors.

The other troubling question is Mr Hohman’s concern about a vehicle parked lawfully on private property and Hohman’s wild speculations that the vehicle violates the law by simply being in the resident’s driveway. Hohman does this without any further inquiry or discussion. That’s absolutely offensive by any standard!

The offending vehicle, parked lawfully on the resident’s property, in his private driveway.

In short, Mr Ron Hohman has his head up his arse because he is assuming with no factual basis that the vehicle on the resident’s property is an abandoned, junked, partially dismantled, etc. vehicle under the provisions of New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law!!!

We have personally visited the resident’s property to verify the images sent and to examine the correspondence received from the Village of Ravena and Mr Ron Hohman, Village of Ravena Code/Zoning Enforcement Officer.

Pull Your Head Out, Hohman!!!

We found the vehicle to be in good condition and would never qualify as abandoned, discarded, junked, or partially dismantled. In fact, it’s quite a nice vehicle. We are informed that it belongs to the resident’s daughter who has been saving to manage insurance, registration and putting it on the road. Is that a violation, we ask? We also suspect that Mr Hohman in his haste to get a violation while violating the resident’s protected rights and trespassing on the property, actually missed the dealer’s plates on the front seat of the vehicle. We didn’t miss them. Did you miss those plates Mr Hohman? Or do you expect that they should have been on the vehicle so that they could be stolen, and the Coeymans police investigation allowed to go cold without an arrest or recovery of the plates. 

Maybe Ron Holman has better credentials than a NYS licenced motor vehicle inspector; maybe that’s how he knows the condition of the vehicle. NOT!!!

Oh! Did we neglect to mention that the property owner’s son is an automotive mechanic with licences for several classes of vehicles as a State Motor Vehicle Inspector? And that he drove the vehicle to it’s present location? Did we fail to mention that insignificant fact? But then, maybe Mr Holman has better qualifications to determining whether a vehicle is junk or roadworthy. Got a response, Ronny-boy?

As for the “discarded rubbish” to which Mr Hohman refers, we were unable to find any discarded anything on the property, much less anything that would qualify as “rubbish,” “trash,” “garbage,” or “waste.” In fact, the pictures provided by the resident are clear and factual: There are household items belonging to the resident, his family, and his tenants, including several functional grills. There are some spare parts arranged on a workbench, a tire leaning up against the building, and several containers. No rubbish. Nothing that appeared that it should be discarded. In fact, what we saw had value, was usable, and had every right to be stored neatly in a resident’s back yard, on his private property, without being a nuisance or an eyesore to anyone, especially given the fact that it is actually surrounded by a six-foot fence!!!

So, in conclusion, we have to ask what Mr Hohman’s game is? Does he have an ax to grind? Does someone in Ravena Village Hall have an ax to grind? Does Mr Hohman have to justify his job and “create” violations where there are none? And why is it necessary for Mr Hohman to break the law and violate a resident’s, a citizen’s protected rights to cook up some sort of idiotic and unfounded “violations”?  We’ll be investigating these questions in more depth and will report on our findings. First of all, we’ll find out more about this character Ron Hohman and get some background on him. Something’s fishy here AGAIN and we will get to the bottom of the stinking pond called Ravena, and find out what the bottom-feeders in Ravena Town Hall are up to. Stay tuned!

We’ll get to the bottom of this.
The Editor

Editor’s Note: Unlike Mr Holman, Ravena’s roving public servant terrorist, we obtained the property owner’s permission to visit and view his property.