In a recent holiday message to residents, Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner announced an amended 2020 town budget that includes a tax rate decrease and a tax levy freeze in the 2020 budget.
“Prior to the November election I announced I would propose a budget that included a zero percent tax hike,” Feiner said in an email.
“When I proposed the 2020 budget I proposed a tax rate hike of zero percent. However, the tax levy did go up, creating some confusion. If the rate stays the same and if the levy goes up, some residents could have experienced a slight tax hike. We would not know that definitely until March when the tax bills are prepared. The Westchester County Executive has proposed a tax rate decrease. Most communities in Westchester are using new sales tax revenues to reduce the size of their tax hike and are not freezing tax levy’s or reducing tax rates,” Feiner said.
“I feel that it is important for people to have confidence in the integrity of their elected officials. It seems like there was some confusion by what I meant by a zero percent tax hike. People expected a zero percent tax levy increase as well,” Feiner explained.
To correct the situation, Feiner asked the Greenburgh comptroller to amend the 2020 proposed budget to include a tax rate decrease of about 3 percent in the A Budget ($9,321,201) and a 2 percent decrease in the Unincorporated B Budget ($59,201,693). “The tax levy will remain the same as in the 2019 budget and will enable us to keep the promises made prior to the election,” Feiner said.
The tax levy is the aggregate amount for all property taxes by all property owners in a fiscal year. The tax levy is determined by school budgets, voted independently, state aid and other revenues. Assessments change on a regular basis and are not set until March of each year for the Greenburgh town tax bills.
Feiner apologized for the confusion.
The Greenburgh Town Board must approve the budget by Dec. 20.
According to Feiner, this proposed modification will not impact any services and the Town will be in compliance with its fund balance policy.
MTA to Upgrade Hartsdale Train Station
In other Greenburgh news, MTA representatives told the Greenburgh Town Board last week that it intends to upgrade the Hartsdale train station during two construction phases.
The first phase will include the construction of two elevators – one on the inbound side and one on the outbound side – with new sidewalks and curb cuts to accommodate ADA specifications.
The elevator towers and accompanying mechanical areas will require the removal of five existing parking spaces.
The overpass will also be upgraded with new benches and counters.
Metro North expects to award a construction bid by the end of the second quarter of 2020. Construction is expected to take 20 months. During that time the construction area will be fenced off.
Town Board members concerned about the removal of five parking spaces from an already overcrowded parking area, asked if anything could be done to replace and even expand on the number of parking spaces.
The MTA does not own any more property on the construction site to be able to add parking, however the Greenburgh Parking District will look at the situation to see if parking could be reconfigured in the area.
Phase two construction in the 2020 to 2024 timeframe will include replacement of the existing platform with a heated platform and the addition of boiler rooms.