Scarsdale Rudely Interrupts NYT Couple’s Retirement

Seymour Topping and his wife are already paying a hefty annual real estate tax bill. But according to a recent report by Journal News “Tax Watch” columnist David McKay Wilson, the couple may be forced to move due to a newly revised assessment of their property’s value.


The pair’s yearly property-tax burden is set to double from $43,415 to $85,704. Or, more than the amount originally paid for the 13-room, two-acre property in 1967:

“I was in absolute shock,” said Topping, 92, who lives with his wife, Audrey, 86, a photographer and author. “We looked forward to living out our last years here. Now it has become impossible to live here unless I borrow money to pay the taxes.”

Tales of hardship brought on by reassessment – never a popular move for politicians – are expected but Scarsdale’s experience with updating its property values for the first time since 1969 shows it’s not the modest homeowners who are most vulnerable to increases in their tax bills but those on the higher end.

A summary of the Toppings’ extremely illustrious journalism careers can be found here. Mr. Topping also wrote the main biography page at

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