From the NY Post:
Domestic diva Sandra Lee has been renovating the tony Westchester County home she shares with Gov. Cuomo while blowing off the town’s permit process — and possibly dodging higher taxes, officials say.
The millionaire Food Network star got a relative steal on her six-bedroom home at 4 Bittersweet Lane in New Castle when she bought it for $1.2 million in early 2009, not long after home values crashed.
Since then, she’s been fixing up the property, known as Lily Pond, with virtually no consultation from town Building Inspector Bill Maskiell, The Journal News reported Sunday.
Maskiell said it took six months of “chasing and threatening’’ Lee in 2012 to get her to apply for a proper building permit for the $11,000 gazebo and shed she had already installed.
“I got no response from her people,’’ he told the Journal News. “I finally spoke with [Cuomo’s] people. They sat down with me and said, ‘Yes, yes, yes.’ Then, they didn’t get back to me. I finally sent a violation and got a response.
Finally, [Cuomo’s spokesman] Larry Schwartz got in touch with me.”
He said Lee — who is worth an estimated $20 million, according to the Web site Celebrity Net Worth — eventually got the permit, although the town’s assessor said that ultimately, the gazebo and shed did not affect her property assessment or $28,312 annual tax bill.
But there has been a host of renovations inside Lee’s home — and proudly shown off to the press — that were done without town approval, meaning she could be skirting higher taxes, the paper said.
The town’s property taxes are based on home values, so any upgrades could increase the amount.