Catskill appeals judge's ruling in pagan case
4/7/11 - 4:24 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."
|Eats & Entertainment in the Great Western Catskills|
|Great Western Catskills: Good Eats and Upcoming Events|
|Antique Engine Jamboree & Powerfest at Hanford Mills Museum - Sept. 6|
|Hanford Mills Museum offers themed tours|
|Farmer's Market of the Week: Stamford Pop-Up Market|
|Farmers' Market of the Week: Barryville|
|Farmer's Market of the Week: Deposit|
|Hudson River cruise Sept. 13 to raise funds for HealthAlliance ovarian cancer support program|
|Golf Classic Raises Over $53,000 for HealthAlliance Hospitals|
|Terrific Labor Day rentals still available in Catskills and Hudson Valley, including romantic cottage and luxe house w/hot tub|
|Product Protection Plans are now available at The Catalog Outlet!|
|New Reclining Living Room Collection Sale Priced, Only While Supplies Last!|
|There’s Still Time - ANNIVERSARY SALE EXTENDED!|
|We’re CELEBRATING our ANNIVERSARY SALE!! Aug. 15-17|
|When It's All About The Food|
|New Arrival at the Blue Barn|
|From the Blue Barn "Looking At You"|
|Two early American pieces at the Blue Barn|
|From the Blue Barn Collection|
|West Kortright Fair 2014 - August 31|
|“Fowl Play”—Artists Render the Yellow Rubber Ducky—Opens August 29|
|Modern ethnic Ukrainian quartet DhakaBrakha - Thursday, Aug. 21|
|27th Annual Shakespeare In The Valley and Picnic Dinner|
|Reflections at the Emerson Resort & Spa|
|Tonight's Show: Catskills Trees with Gary Mead|
|Tonight's Show: Arboriculture with Charlie Blume|
|Tonight’s Show: Hiking Essentials with Paul Misko|
|Tonight’s Show: Catskill Ginseng|
|Re-priced: Highly Motivated seller offering this desirable Roxbury Run Townhouse|
|Sideways Tour! A Romp through the Wines of Sideways|
|LOTS TO DO FOR KIDS AND ADULTS ALIKE AT ANDES COMMUNITY DAY THIS WEEKEND!|
|Betty Brook Bounty|
|Recliners: Your Style Your Color|
|The Festival has begun!|
|Solange Merdinian and the dancers and musicians of Flamenco Y Sol|
|Cats Guild presents the Main View Gallery & Studio of Oneonta|
|Personalized Plaquettes for Every Occasion!|
|DCHA Offers Adirondack Trip|
|Susan's Pleasant Pheasant Farm Kayak Races|
|The 2014 First Annual Not Your Average Croquet Tournament|
|The Many Hats of a Catskill Transplant by Rebecca of Traveler's Tea|