Catskill appeals judge's ruling in pagan case
4/7/11 - 3:24 pm
The Maetreum of Cybele, in Palenville.
The town of Catskill is appealing a judge's decision that it may have discriminated against a group of pagans by refusing to grant them a religious property tax exemption.
According the the Greene County Clerk's Office, a notice of appeal was filed on March 28 in the tax case pitting the Maetreum of Cybele, a pagan group from Palenville, against the Assessor of the Town of Catskill. The town appears to be asking for a higher court to review a tough-talking February ruling from Greene County Supreme Court George J. Pulver, Jr. in which the judge denied Catskill's request to dismiss the case.
As we reported in February, Judge Pulver's decision was a big victory for the self-described witches of the Maetreum, who argue that the town treated them differently from other religious groups when it placed their Palenville property on the tax rolls.
Pulver found that argument convincing. In his February ruling, he wrote that the attorney for the town of Catskill, Daniel G. Vincelette, attempted "to hold petitioner to a higher standard than other religious organizations."
The town's appeal has not yet been processed in the appellate court, according to the clerk's office of the Third Judicial Department of the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court, which will hear the case. Calls to Vincelette's office yesterday were not returned.
Despite the appeal, Judge Pulver, who held a preliminary conference in the case yesterday, has set a date for a bench trial. Pulver will hear evidence in the case and rule on it himself on July 20.
Cathryn Platine, the Maetreum's spiritual leader, found out about the town's decision to challenge Pulver's ruling this week. She emailed the Watershed Post a statement yesterday:
"We are shocked the Town has taken this action rather than just admit we are, and always have been, a completely legitimate religious group that does charitable works."
|Rock Pond: 3 cottages on 72 pastoral acres with swimming pond for sale|
|Two cute new cabin listings for under $180k|
|Free tasting, TOMORROW, Saturday, Nov 22, 2-4pm|
|Free wine and spirits tasting!|
|Happy HalloWINE from Roxbury Wine and Spirits!|
|Shop Local Savings on November 29|
|Home Grown Custom Meats - Custom Meat Cutting and Smoking in Delhi, NY|
|JUST REDUCED North Harpersfield Home|
|'The Dress Up Your Home For The Holidays' sale has started!|
|Product Protection Plans are now available at The Catalog Outlet!|
|Limited Time Specials on Power Furniture!|
|From the Blue Barn "Art Collection"|
|Mid Century at the Blue Barn|
|Armoires at the Blue Barn|
|From the Blue Barn Chair Collection|
|Tables at the Blue Barn|
|Holiday Shopping Guide for the Great Western Catskills|
|A Very Happy Thanksgiving to all our Friends and Neighbors|
|Treetops: A modernist vacation rental retreat on the banks of the Delaware River|
|Red Cottage is hiring a customer service/salesperson!|
|Only 15 more Days Brick and Mortar/Keeping hours Chace-Randall Gallery|
|30 Days Only...|
|Toys for the Children Drive at the Emerson Resort & Spa|
|Delaware County Historical Association Sponsors Reading & Book Signing|
|RUPCO Opens Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Program Waiting List for Enrollment November 17 through December 12|
|SAVE up to $615 on REGENCY and HAMPTON thru November 24th|
|Your Donations at Work!|
|Marketing & Public Relations position is open at The West Kortright Centre|
|RAILS TO THE CATSKILLS AND CATSKILL MOUNTAIN HOUSE DOCUMENTARIES SET FOR NOVEMBER SHOWINGS|
|Associate Lab Microbiologist - NYC Department of Environmental Protection|
|Breathtaking Mountain Views…LOVELY Log Cabin Living!|
|Historic 1864 Farmhouse - Quiet Road!|
|Country Living, Village Proximity!|
|Priced to Sell, Two Businesses for the Price of One|