The town of Greenburghas well as many other jurisdictions in WestchesterCountyhas experienced a dramatic erosion in our Commercial/ Industrial tax base over the last few years. The erosion stems in large part from a precipitous decline in the New York State Equalization Rate. The Equalization Rate is used by the courts to settle tax certiorari challenges and is also used by New YorkStateto establishSpecial Franchise assessments. The Equalization Rate in year 2000 was 5.38%. In 2004 it has dropped down to 3.33%. A 38% decline. Over the same period, Special Franchise assessments have gone from $20,531,916 to $15,779,441. Therefore, in just the Utility sector, the tax base has gone down by $4,752,475 ( 23%). The decline in the Equalization rate has had similar impacts on the Commercial tax base.
Although the Town has experienced growth from new construction in this same time period, the decline associated with the Equalization Rate on Certiorari and Special Franchise, has had a cumulative effect in driving up Tax Rates in the Town Of Greenburgh.
The Town of Greenburghhas been in the forefront of many communities seeking relief to change the methods used by New YorkStateto establishEqualization Rates. Unfortunately we have not had much success in convincing our state representatives to consider the Town’s plight.
We have tried to persuade the State Office of Real Property Services to use a different formula that would have been more accurate and helpful to the town. Unfortunately, we haven’t been successful. But, we will keep trying.