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4th consecutive year of no tax rate/tax levy increases. 2023 budget proposed by Town Supervisor
GREENBURGH TOWN SUPERVISOR’S 2023 BUDGET MESSAGE
SLIGHT TAX RATE DECREASE
A ZERO PERCENT INCREASE IN PROPERTY TAX LEVY FOR BOTH TOWN ENTIRE AND UNINCORPORATED GREENBURGH FOR THE 4TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR,
I am pleased to submit my 2023 proposed budget to the Town Board for their consideration.
This year, despite an 8.2% National Inflation Rate, the budget for Town Entire and Unincorporated Greenburgh will not include a property tax increase. This is the fourth consecutive year of ZERO increase.
With inflation so high, the price of food, gas, rent and all the essentials of life have increased dramatically, and I believe it's important that we in Town Government use whatever means are at our disposal to reduce the anxiety and stress levels which so many people are experiencing. I think this budget accomplishes that goal.
Greenburgh residents should take pride in the fact that their town government is well run. Throughout these challenging years, we have maintained a AAA bond rating, now for over a decade. Our services are extraordinary and our devoted Town staff does a great job and really cares about our residents.
1) For your information, we have been informed that a memo has been circulated through Edgemont by the Edgemont Incorporation Committee announcing that it has accumulated more than 1,000 signatures and has already met the requirement for submitting the “petition to incorporate” to the Town. If Edgemont's petition complies with NYS law and its residents vote in favor of incorporation, Edgemont will no longer be a part of Unincorporated Greenburgh and our budget will be heavily impacted. Edgemont’s incorporation, if successful, will be a “hard hit” for the Town, requiring many changes in fiscal and personnel operations.
2) Although we have had some successes in prior years with sharing of services, we should do more. I would like to encourage more sharing of services with the Villages and throughout other layers of government, an action step that could result in lower costs for all concerned.
3) The Greenburgh Police Department is requesting permission to hire four additional Emergency Medical Technicians to enhance the emergency medical service system. This request is intended to make our EMS system safer and more efficient.
The EMS system is experiencing an increase in annual call volume which has created an increase on the demand for resources within the Unincorporated Town. Hiring four additional EMT’s will help reduce that demand, facilitating better response times and improved availability to answer emergency EMS calls. This will also enhance mutual aid resources and help prevent delays in patient care. The accompanying increase in the number of patient transports should result in an increase in revenue recovery from billing insurance companies which will somewhat defray the cost of staffing.
4) As the budget I will be proposing for 2023 projects no increase in property taxes for residents of the Town. Once again, these actions will place the Town under the NYS “Tax Cap,” providing taxpayers with eligibility for a refund which would be provided by NYS.
5) As you review your tax bill, please be aware, for residents of the Unincorporated Town, between approximately 85% of your entire Property Tax bill accrues to School, Fire District and other Municipal entities not controlled by the Town. Simply put, all Town provided services which residents of the Unincorporated Town receive and enjoy, are paid for with just 15% of your total property tax dollars.
For residents of the “Villages,” 98% of your Property Taxes accrue to entities other than the Town, as the great majority of your services are provided by your Village.
WHAT FACTORS CONTRIBUTE TO THE AMOUNT OF PROPERTY TAX WE COLLECT?
In trying to explain the main fiscal issues which the Town must consider, it is important to understand the revenue streams utilized, other than property taxes.
1- PROPERTY TAX REVENUE: We live in a great Town, with wonderful, responsible residents and property owners. As projected today, it appears that Property Tax Revenue for the Town will be nearly fully (98%) collected by year’s end. We thank our residents for their understanding of the needs of and for their support for the Town.
2- FEE REVENUE: Fee income from sources including the Building Department and others, have historically generated significant revenue for the Town. The greatest source of these funds is provided by building charges and fees generated by new construction and renovation. Our wonderful Town’s reputation as an exceptional place to live and especially “to do business,” has ensured an ever, increasing number of development projects, the largest being the major, multi-year expansion of the Regeneron Headquarters and the future development of the Elmwood Country Club property. These projects, once again, spurred by the economic viability of our Town and its wonderful residents, have and will generate millions of dollars in fee income, which has allowed us to leave your Property Taxes at the same level these past three years. We expect that the building department will generate 4.5 million in revenue in 2023.
3- MORTGAGE TAX REVENUE: Mortgage tax (approximately $4.8 million) has continued to increase, as the number of home purchase transactions over the past few years has increased dramatically, as well as the average price of sale. As the housing market “slows down,” and with increased mortgage rates, I believe we will see a decrease in this revenue stream for the next few years. I have reduced mortgage tax estimates to $3.5 million to be conservative. We plan to move the courthouse funding from prior adopted budgets into a designated fund balance account. A resolution will be presented to the Town Board requesting that the funds allocated for courthouse expansion be placed in an assigned fund balance category. Therefore, we have removed this funding from the 2023 budget.
Please allow me to take this opportunity to acknowledge and express my appreciation to the employees of our Town, who have selflessly provided services in a qualitative and unabated manner. We have been blessed with a devoted work force, which continually does everything necessary to ensure all our families were, are and will continue to be safe.
HOW DO WE AS A TOWN GOVERNMENT ENSURE EFFECTIVENESS AND EFFICIENCY GOING FORWARD:
Discussions regarding consolidations of functions although summarily rejected by interest groups, must be considered, and explored and “any and all” options identified for increasing revenues and decreasing costs, without impacting the provision of service.
Greenburgh is burgeoning and our now $113 million budget is far more complex than in prior years. To ensure fiscal security, I will be adding to the proposed budget funding for an additional fiscal/operation staff person, a Director of Finance, who will work to ensure that financial functions are at their highest level of efficiency and that our revenues are maximized, and our tax dollars are best spent.
Changes in the Assessment Role designed to equitably equalize each property owner’s share of the Property Tax Levy have been implemented. Some residents might see increases in their Tax Bill, while others will remain the same or see decreases. It is important to understand that the total amount to be collected will be similar in 2023, as it was in both 2022 and 2021.
Fiscal stability is a hallmark of the Town of Greenburgh, thanks to our informed and supportive citizens, the strength of our departmental managers and personnel, and the diverse and long-time experience of our Town Board. We believe working together; we will continue to be fine. Thank you to Comptroller Roberta Romano for her efforts preparing this budget. I wanted to make sure that we were cautious as possible, not over confident with the budget and asked our accountants, PKF O’Connor Davies to review the budget estimates and document prior to finalizing the budget. I met with them yesterday afternoon, and I appreciate their constructive suggestions.
With great appreciation and respect
2023 BUDGET SUMMARY
TOWN WIDE: (A Budget)
Tax rate decrease = 0.41%
Total Appropriations = $21.8 million, down $7.6 million from 2022
Decrease in tax for 2023 = $0.93 per $500,000 of assessed value; $225.24 in 2023 vs. $226.17 in 2022
TOWN OUTSIDE: (B Budget)
Tax rate decrease = 0.21% (A Fund and B Fund combined)
Total Appropriations = $91.1 million, up $0.6 million from 2022
Decrease in tax for 2023 = $6.24 per $500,000 of assessed value; $2,924.73 in 2023 vs. $2,930.97 in 2022