Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner is proposing no property tax increase in 2021 in his tentative budget unveiled last week.
Feiner, who has served as supervisor since 1992, explained he was able to submit a spending plan that keeps taxes flat despite projected shortfalls in sales tax ($1.85 million), hotel tax revenue ($650,000) and town court revenue ($400,000).
“It has been evident for quite some time that federal, state and local governments across every region of our country are struggling with increased cost and decreased revenue, due to the economic impact of the COVID 19 pandemic. These extraordinary fiscal factors require municipal leadership to identify every conceivable budgetary option available, as a means of ensuring the safety and comfort of our constituencies, through the continuation of the high level of services which our residents deserve,” Feiner stated.
“At the same time, many of our neighbors have lost their jobs, or have experienced decreases in salary and benefits, as their employers attempt to keep their businesses operating during this extremely difficult period. A simple “drive-by” view of our major retail corridors, Central Ave, Route 119, Saw Mill River Road and others, reflects far too many “For Rent” signs and shuttered stores and restaurants, many which may never reopen,” he added. “We recognize the hardships many residents are experiencing during this very difficult time and rest assured, we have been, are currently and will continue to work our hardest and smartest to meet both your needs and the town’s fiscal obligations.”
For residents of the Unincorporated Town of Greenburgh, between 80 and 85 percent of the entire property tax bill accrues to school district, fire district and other municipal entities not controlled by the town.
The budget, as proposed, does not include any salary increases for elected officials.
In most past years, salary increase rates for elected officials mirrored the percentage of those of CSEA Union members.
“However, I believe it is inappropriate to recommend any increases in these individual’s salaries, including my own, during a crisis in which so many Greenburgh residents are out of work or have diminished income,” Feiner stated.
This year, Feiner pointed out several cost savings measures undertaken by the town, such as: capital projects were deferred for future consideration; there was a hiring freeze for all but essential new hires; several positions vacated by staff retirements were not filled; and all non-capital, major purchases required reapproval from the Town Board.
“The challenge for the town: How can we best maintain services which residents depend upon, utilizing the funds available, and accomplish this in the most efficient and effective manner?” Feiner stated. “We recognize the hardships many residents are experiencing during this very difficult time and rest assured, we have been, are currently and will continue to work our hardest and smartest to meet both (the residents) needs and the town’s fiscal obligations.”
The first public hearing on 2021 Preliminary Budget will be held November 24 at 7:30 p.m. (via Zoom) by the Town Board. The Town Board will review the budget and can make changes until December 20 The budget, in its entirety, will be posted on the town website: www.greenburghny.com.