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."
|A Catskills forest dweller – the Rosy Maple Moth – Pretty in Pink!|
|Dicentra part II (Two Catskills wildflowers)|
|Dicentra Part I (Bleeding Hearts, or why do plant names change?)|
|A TASTE OF ANEMONE|
|Frost Warnings... Really?!|
|Spring Redecorating in the Henhouse|
|Spring Slinking in Slowly|
|Free anniversary tastings starting Friday, May 22 at 5pm!|
|Memorial Day and One Year Anniversary Tasting Events!|
|Log Home at Silver Lake|
|A Living Heritage|
|See the Tinderbox's Grills In Action - Memorial Day Weekend|
|Lightweight, Portable Stoves for Campers and Backpackers|
|Memorial Day Weekend - Celebrate Ten Years of Tay Tea!|
|It's Time for Cold-Brew Iced Tea!|
|Celebrate Mother’s Day with Tay Tea!|
|Save the Dates! Tay Tea Spring Events|
|Fiber Arts Weekend at Heather Ridge Farm|
|Sunday May 24 BBQ, Fresh Chicken, New Summer Hours|
|Supper Club this Saturday, May 16|
|Art in the Catskills This Memorial Day Weekend|
|Orquesta SCC Kicks of Summer Season at the Roxbury Arts Group|
|Roxbury Welcomes You This Memorial Day Weekend|
|I Love My Park Day at Roxbury's Kirkside Park|
|Swap Your Seeds!|
|How Do You Celebrate Spring?|
|Dreamy new landmark townhouse vacation rental in happening Hudson|
|Celebrating 'All Things Local' this week with Nicole Day Gray / All Things Hive321 with Theresa Spinelli|
|Celebrating 'All Things Local' this week with Nicole Day Gray / All Things Catskills Grit with Michael Wentland|
|Myth America, Tuesdays at 9 AM on WIOX Radio|
|Thanks to NYNJTC and Upstate Adventure Guides for a Great Year of Trail U at Spillian!|
|Keeping Life Simple - Beautiful Bovina Farmhouse, 2 Ponds & 16+/- acres.|
|Rondout Creek Lodge: Sunny, streamfront home with great room and 2 fireplaces on 53 acres near waterfalls and Blue Hole|
|Spa Treatments for a Cause at the Emerson Resort & Spa|
|Last Minute Savings at the Emerson Spa|
|JOHN VANDERLYN IN VIRGINIA AND WASHINGTON, D.C.|
|Take Mom to the Andes Hotel on Sunday!|
|Oneonta Remodeling Sale Going On At All Catalog Outlet Locations!|
|GCSWCD EDUCATION AND OUTREACH COORDINATOR|
|Raffle for Roxbury Volunteer Fire Department|
|Andes Central School Spring Picture Day|