The White Plains Examiner

Proposed Budget for White Plains FY 2014-15 Grows by 2 Percent, Stays Within Tax Cap

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Carolyn Mayo, Budget Assistant, Michael Genito, Budget Director, and John Callahan, White Plains Corporation Counsel address local press on the Proposed Budget FY 2014-15 for the City of White Plains.
Carolyn Mayo, Budget Assistant, Michael Genito, Budget Director, and John Callahan, White Plains Corporation Counsel address local press on the Proposed Budget FY 2014-15 for the City of White Plains.

The Proposed Budget for Fiscal year 2014-15 ending June 30th 2015 for the City of White Plains was presented to the Mayor and Common Council at the regularly scheduled monthly meeting Monday night. It was prepared and presented by Budget Director Michael Genito and Budget Assistant Carolyn Mayo with direct input from city departments.

The total proposed budget of $176.1 million is increased by $4 million or 2.3 percent over last year. Of the total budget, the proposed General Fund is $160.7 million, an increase of $2.9 million or 1.8 percent over last year.

The Property Tax levy increases to $55 million, yet remains within the state mandated tax levy cap by $10,000, said Genito at a Monday afternoon meeting designed to give the main points of the budget to the press.

Genito further explained that the proposed tax rate of $196.14, represents an increase of $4.40 or 2.3 percent, meaning a home owner with a median assessed property value of $13,400 will pay an additional $59 in City tax each year.

Sewer fees remain at 21 percent of the bill for water consumption.

Major factors impacting the tax rate increase include labor contracts (2 percent COLA and step increases); self-insurance requirements increasing 17 percent; and debt service costs increasing 13 percent.

Genito maintained that the proposed budget provides for settlement of police contracts, which are currently in arbitration with the City.

On the revenue side, Genito explained that assessed values are down $800,000 or 0.3 percent from last year due to tax certiorari for both residential and commercial claims, a continued stress on the highest revenue generator for the city – property taxes.

Sales tax, which is the city’s second highest revenue source, is projected to increase 2 percent to $46 million (up $900,000), based on trending through actual sales receipts through December and projected receipts through February, according to Genito.

Parking, another key revenue source is projected to bring in $23.8 million in the form of meter fees, fines and permit charges, representing 14.8 percent of total General Fund revenues.

Government grants and aid of $7.3 million represent 4.6 percent of the total General Fund revenues. Of this amount, $5.5 million is estimated to come from New York State Aid and incentives to Municipalities and $1.55 million will be generated from New York State Mortgage taxes.

While Genito said it was too early to determine how the finalized NYS Budget released late last week would affect White Plains, he did note that a bump in highway and road repairs money was expected from the state to cover costs for the extreme conditions caused by recent winter storms.

Cautioning that White Plains had already cut back on staffing and services as much as possible over past years, Genito said: “We are still coming out of a difficult recession. There is a lot of development on the boards (referring to a number of construction projects in the city). When we see that go forward, things will begin to look different.”

Still, the proposed budget maintains City service at levels comparable to the current year and all mandated expenses are funded.

In a note in the Budget Message, Genito does say: “the tax cap is continuing to impact the City’s ability to maintain the City in peak condition and offer new opportunities for residents.”

A copy of the Proposed Budget as well as a schedule of Budget review meetings is available on the city website at A public hearing is scheduled for May 5 at 7:30 p.m. with adoption of the budget expected by May 19.

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