Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Why are tax rates different in the "A" budget and "B" budget?

Yesterday I released my proposed 2007 budget which is posted in the forms section of the town web site: www.greenburghny.com. The budget calls for a 9.20% decrease in the A budget (impacting village residents and unincorporated Greenburgh residents) and a 1% tax increase in the B budget which only impacts unincorporated Greenburgh residents.
Why are the taxes of village residents going down and the taxes of unincorporated Greenburgh residents going up --even if it is only a 1% increase?
These are two different budgets. The budget for unincorporated Greenburgh is $57,354,008 and the A budget is much smaller: $14,679,237. We maintain a healthy fund balance in both budgets -- but have a much stronger fund balance in the "A" budget --enabling us to reduce taxes. We have used more fund balance this year than in past years to offset the costs of running services and to keep taxes lower than they normally would be.
Because the "A" budget is so small (the average village resident will be paying less than $100 a year to the town) the addition of one program could see the percentage tax increase increase substantially. In 2003/4 and 2004/5 there were large percentage increases in the "A" budget -- my recollection is that the village taxes went up by 70% or more. For example, when we initiated special recreation programs for village residents who have disabled children (the program became a town-wide program) village taxes went up substantially.
I am urging the Town Board to approve a fund balance policy which will guide future Town Boards re: fund balance issues. I believe that it is important that we be able to maintain a healthy fund balance -- this is a major reason why the town's bond rating increases have gone up 3 times during my administration. I also believe that residents desire predictability and stability, not surprises that could result in double digit tax increases.

104 comments:

COMPARE TO SCHOOL TAXES said...

This budget is good news for the taxpayers. Both budgets compare very favorably to the substantial school tax increases we have had to pay. We are fortunate to live in a well managed town.

give me a break said...

Give me a break! I read the article in the Journal News this morning about the tax rate in the villages. A tax reduction is always better than a tax increase (and is impressive in this climate) but this tax reduction won't buy me more than a dinner at McDonald's. A $9- tax cut per household in the village is no big deal.

Michael Kolesar said...

The "A" budget tax rate increased because the Town was underinsured and in light of the tragic accident on Central Park Aveune, there was a very costly settlement. Then the Town Board made the decision to charge the "A" budget for this cost even though the "Town's" insurance policies do not cover the Villages. Thus the Village taxpayers never received any benefit, but have been taxed to pay for this folly. At the time that the Town of Greenburgh had only $3 million in liability insurance, little Ardsley carried $11 million in insurance. The tax increase wasn't substantially due to a new program for children. Let's be honest!!! It was a grossly mismanaged Town insurance program.

Anonymous said...

Oh please Michael,

The villages are still paying less than their fair share. The villages have unrestricted access to the parks that they are not charged for. and feiner wants more and more prgorams for everyone but villages dont pay.


Ok, the old insurance was a mistake, and by the way, that was feiner's responsibility and guess what, the village residents have more votes than the town outside villages have, so feiner favors the villages.

The villagers are greedy, greedy greedy.

Edgemont voter said...

As a resident of unincorporated Greenburgh I'm pleased. Last year when the 20 mill library referendum was placed on the ballot my first thought was there goes the taxes. I thought that taxes would skyrocket. A 1% tax increase for Edgemont is amazing!

Michael Kolesar said...

Dear Anonymous,

You wrote"

Oh please Michael,

The villages are still paying less than their fair share. The villages have unrestricted access to the parks that they are not charged for. and feiner wants more and more prgorams for everyone but villages dont pay.'

Are you familiar with the Finneran Law? The parks in unincorporated Greenbnurgh are not supposed to be open to all. The Town doesn't comply with the law.

As to the responsibilty for the under insurance, while the Supervisor certainly ought to bear considerable responsibility, there were always 4 other members of the Town Board. Where is their individual and collective responsibilities?

Anonymous said...

so Ardsley sports teams should stop using the parks?? tell that to Feiner.

also feiner is the only full time one, and he keeps saying he is cfo. Insurance adequancy was clearly in his ballpark

Village resident said...

So anonymous says that the "villagers are greedy, greedy, greedy." That comment reflects the antagonism that the self-aggrandizing Bernstein has created among residents of unincorporated Greenburgh.

The villagers pay for the Supervisor, the Town Copuncil, the Town Comptroller, the Town Attorney, the Town's data processing system, The Town Vourt, Town Hall, etc etc etc, none of which do anything for the villages. And anonymous want the villagers to pay more still. Who is greedy? Anonymous protests too much.

It would be nice if the unincorporated area residents would actually look at who uses what, who pays for what, and what is really fair, and stop complaining so much.

Anonymous said...

excuse me -- the town court doesnt help the villages -- where do you think fines go to -- the entire town


as to the rest -- see also nys law

Finneran explained said...

The only court that has ruled on what the Finneran Law means held it only permits part town taxation for parks that are restricted in use. This is why only unincorporated G'burg residents can use Veteran Park (its restricted in use to unincorporated G'burgh residents who alone pay for it).

Under the proposed 2007 budget, Feiner is still charging only residents of unincorporated G'burgh the full cost for the balance of the Town's parks (e.g. Harts Brook) even though they are open to all residents of the Town including the villages. Under the above court decision, this appears to be illegal.

Unfortunately the villages failed to stop the Town from opening the parks to all town residents.

Anonymous said...

Forget A and B for a minute,

I do not think we should be eating into fund balances as much. We all know we need a new court house. I think we should be reserving money for that.

More on Finneran said...

The court decision on Finneran only concerned one town park, Taxter Ridge. There is a pending lawsuit to apply this court decision to all Town parks open to all residents.

Underinsured said...

Re: Underinsurance

Ardsley has professional management and had $11 million in coverage. Greenburgh had $3 million! Thats amateur hour.

2. The lawsuit arose in large part due to the Town's failure to have a tree maintenance program. Mr. Feiner crows about good bond ratings (due in part to excessive fund balances). But he fails to realize that underspending can be more costly in the long run when it comes to repairs and maintenance.

Curious to know said...

Dear Village Resident:

You say Mr. Bernstein is self-aggrandizing.

The term is defined as:

The act or practice of enhancing or exaggerating one's own importance, power, or reputation.

Mr. Bernstein is not running for office. He is simply trying to get Feiner and the Town to comply with the law. He is doing it on his own time and at his own expense.

So far, despite being fought tooth and nail by the Town since 2003, the courts have said he is right.

Now, how is any of this self-aggrandizement on his part?

It appears your animus is misdirected.

Anonymous said...

MUCHO IMPRESSO SENIOR FEINER!
I think Senior Feiner's budget for the villages and unincorporated Greenburgh shows excellent management skills. Taxpayers in other communities are probably jealous. As a resident of unincorporated Greenburgh I'm thrilled that the taxes are only going up by 1%.
In response to the person who made the comment about the tree case and lack of insurance - the tree accident happened 10 years ago. My understanding is that the town is adequately covered at the present time. Good managers learn from mistakes.

Anonymous said...

I think Greenburgh currently has 35 million dollars in insurance. Does any municipality in Westchester have as much insurance at the present time? Do you know of any other locality that created an insurance committee that came up with a report like the one Mr. Liskov's committee issued last week?

Village resident said...

To anonymous, who said that court fines go to the entire town. Sure. But do you think that the Town Court makes a profit? I don't think so. Why don't you keep both the fines and the costs of the Town Court. It is because of the dumb statutes that village residents subsidize the unincorporated area of Greenburgh.

Tree case tragedy said...

June 24, 1998, a car crash caused by a tree that fell on Central Park Avenue in Greenburgh killed William Hilliard, 51, of Yonkers and left his wife, Selamawit Hilliard, a quadriplegic.

Anonymous said...

Tree fell in 1998. Insurance committee issues report in late 2006. Thats competent management?

Anonymous said...

The town has been increasing their insurance coverage for years. They learned from their experience. Now, they have more insurance coverage than neighboring jurisdictions. The insurance committee is just one additional measure the town has taken.

pleasantly surprised said...

I live in E Irvington. My friend just told me about this blog. It's great. I read about the budget and think that Mr. Feiner should be complimented. These are unusual times. The town has many expenses. Salaries go up. Voters approved a major library expansion. Elmsford no longer gives the town money for library services. Wouldn't you have thought that taxes would go up? Having a 1% tax hike in unincorporated Greenburgh and a tax decrease for the rest of the town is a very, very pleasant surprise. Good management!

Anonymous said...

Village resident said ... "dumb statutes"

I think this would better be expressed as "antiquated statutes." Now seems the perfect time for the town and the villages to go their own ways and let go of the old-fashioned township model. Let's just split and make it easier and more efficient for all:

1. City of Greenburgh between the Sprain Brook Parkway and the Bronx River Parkway

2. City of ? between the Sprain Brook Parkway and the Hudson River.

There - decades of drama and inefficiency resolved.

Anonymous said...

Do you even have a clue how a city is formed in NYS? Given that with Feiner as supervisor many people are not accustomed to checking NYS law as to what can be done, but as difficult as it is going to be for Edgemont to become a village, and for the other villages to become their own town, this is even more unrealistic.

Greenburgh Taxpayer said...

To Anon at 10:56 am,

You argue that certain items such as the Town courts, etc. are for the benefit of the unincorporated town, yet charged to the town entire. That is the NYS law.

When the law is unfair, but to the benefit of the villages (for example, that the villages recieve certain property recording taxes for transfers within the and when such taxes are imposed on property within the unincorporate areas are by law allocated to the town entire budget - thus allowing the villages their own tax collections, plus a share of the towns) no one complains, and Mr. Bernstein does not sue.

Only when the Town practice is both unfair and against NYS law does Mr. Bernstien sue (the parks allocation).

SO WHO IS GREEDY, GREEDY, GREEDY ??

Greenburgh is efficient said...

Anon 8:08 said Greenburgh is inefficient. How can you say that?
Our services are excellent. The 1% tax increase in the B budget is outrageously low when you consider the library expansion, loss of the Elmsford library contract. The 9% tax cut for the villages is amazing. The bond rating agencies keep on praising the town for its excellent management. I have no complaints about our town. Change for change sake is dumb.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon at 8:08

Is this blog meant to further encourage Edgemont to become a village? sounds like it

dano said...

I wouldn't say that Greenburgh itself is so inefficient, but I do agree that the NYS township system is outdated and organizationally inefficient.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dano,

and what suggestions would you have --

the villages unincorporate -- legally possible but not likely

every other area in town become a village - possible, but would leave massive court battles, with what happens to the parks, debt etc.

silent majority likes it like it is said...

Some of the anonymous bloggers want to change the structure of the town. The "silent majority" of people who don't comment on blogs like the town the way it is.

Anonymous said...

Yorktown's tax hike in today's Journal News is 7.97%. Rye Town taxes to rise 3.3% according to the Journal News.
Greenburgh tax increase 1%
villages to decrease by 9%
We're fortunate!

Village resident said...

To the two anonymouses who said (1) that we should form a city of Greenburgh and a city of the villages, and (2) that villages don't complain when the law is unfair to the unincorporated area, here are answers.

For the first, we don't need to have two cities. Let the unincorporated area become one village of Greenburgh within the town of Greenburgh, and you solve almost all the problems of unfairness for everybody. For the second, the SCOBA committee formed by the Supervisor had it right, have the town and the villages form a committee to study how the laws can be amended to make them fair for everybody.

Then the lawsuits will stop. Everybody other than Bernstein will be happy.

Anonymous said...

dear village resident

and who would you charge the parks to??

Anonymous said...

Village Resident,

The SCOBA committe was basically a committe with representatives from the villages, and the only persons obstentably from the unincorporated area were handpicked by Feiner, and did not really represent the unincorporated areas. None of our civic leaders, not the ECC, nor any neighbor hood associations were allowed. So it is a manual put out by the villages.

Village Resident said...

To the two anonymouses who responded negatively to my comments about making unincorporated Greenburgh the seventh village in the Town of Greenburgh, and about the SCOBA report suggestion that the laws be amended, these are the answers.

If the unincorporated area becomes a village they can control their parks just as the villages do - and just as the villages permit non-residents to use most of their parks, the village of Greenburgh can do the same. And just as the villages pay for their parks, even if they are used by a a handful of non-residents, the village of Greenburgh should pay for their parks, even if they are used by a handful of non-residents. A whole lot of other points of argument, like parking fines and recording taxes, will disappear.

As for the statement that the SCOBA committee was basically a village committee, you don't know what you are talking about. Hostility is not a good alternative to thinking. Read the SCOBA report, as I have done, and put your anti-village bias aside. You will learn a lot.

Or maybe you prefer fighting to solving problems.

frustrated said...

Village resident has it about right.

Why do some Greenburgh residents always accuse rather than reason. It seems that for some residents, the answer to every problem is to abuse Supervisor Feiner. There are different, and more important, ways to look at problems. At least if you want to solve them.

Anonymous said...

To village resident: You suggest that the unincorporated area become our own village. An interesting idea. This could increase taxes for residents of unincorporated Greenburgh. The Town Court is now paid for by the entire town. The Town Council is considering plans to build a new town court. If we become a village would the other villages have to pay for the court operations and building a new court house?

Village Resident said...

To anonymous, who says that unincorporated Greenburgh becoming a village would raise your taxes, and asks whether the villages would pay for a new court house for the Town Court. Yes, you are right. It might raise your taxes up to what village residents pay for their village taxes. And Greenburgh village would have to pay for their new court just as village residents have to pay for their village court.

You just proved my point that under the present system the villages subsidize the unincorporated area. Many town expenses are paid by village residents, who don't get the services from the town. That's why all the accusations are so unfair. Think of unincorporated Greenburgh as a village, and it all becomes clear.

Since many of the complaints come from the fact that village residents can now vote for the Town Council and Supervisor, they will not be able to do that if unincorporated Greenburgh becomes a large village. You can elect whomever you want and you have everything that you now have. The one thing you won't have is the villages paying for it.

Greenburgh Taxpayer said...

To village resident

the problem is that the villages DO USE THE TOWN PARKS

I could be wrong, but what i suspect is that some villages use town facilities (Elsmford uses the Young center, Ardsley uses the Ridge Road and SEcor for their rec team sports, and Irvington wants the Taxter ridge) and some like dobbs ferry may use less.

That being said, how do propsose these parks be sold to the villages

Greenburgh Taxpayer said...

and Ardsley wants the waterwheel propery for their firemen

Anonymous said...

While the taxter land may not be sold, because it was bot with state etc money, the costs will be allocated to the villages.

Village Resident said...

To Greenburgh taxpayer.

You know, village resaidents and unincorporated area residents are not enemies. We don't need passports to visit each other. You don't pay to use Central Park. It doesn't hurt if we visit each others parks.

You can deal with the use of the Theodore Young Center by Elmsford residents by charging them more. I think that is what is happening anyway. And you can charge Ardsley residents more for useing whatever they seem to want to use.

As far as dealing with the problem of making a new Greenburgh village, that will surely require close thinking and bookkeeping. But I am sure that we will not be reinventing the wheel. If reasonable people, including lawyers and financial types, get to work on this with seriousness, not political posturing, it may lead to a good result. We won't even know what the financial consequences will be for unincorporated Greenburgh and the villages. It is worth trying.

Anonymous said...

The Theodore Young Center is being used by people all over the county but its budget of millions is paid for by unincorporated. Simply adding a small surcharge to admission/user fees(as appears to be the case now) is hardly equitable since the facility is open to not only town residents but everyone.

Ripped off in G'burgh said...

Taxter was gift to Irvington School District. Lets just call it by its real name - Feiner's folly.

Greenburgh Taxpayer said...

to village resident

the bottem line is the answer

we should sell these properties if the unincorporated residents dont supportm them

Anonymous said...

so why dont we just tell the ardsley firemen to use the Dobbs ferry pool, not the greenburgh pool

Another Anonymous said...

To the last Anonymous comment. You have some community spirit. Thank God I'm not your neighbor. You probably have barbed wire around your property.

Anonymous said...

Dear another anon,

So if we dont support your firemen, to reduce your taxes, we have barbed wire,

I dont think so, we are just tired of supporting you with nothing in return

Independent thinker said...

One option for the "neighborhood"parks may be to create special park districts paid for by the true users - those who live within say a quarter mile of the park. Another would be to sell some of the parkland with restrictions on density as to what could be built on the land. The status quo is not working.

My view said...

Why are we all making such a big deal about parks? Greenburgh is not a gated community. The villages are not gated communities. Parks are open spaces, not private gardens where the elite meet. Park districts, special fees, lawsuits. What do I care if a village resident comes into Veteran Park? Or another park. No one ever objected or threw me out when I went to the Irvington park at the Hudson River to enjoy the view. People are acting as though their life savings are being stolen. Get along. And get a life.

Anonymous said...

The A & B budget battle has made everyone a loser. The town still has not approved the tennis bubble proposal which would have reduced my taxes, generated annual rent for the town. Let's stop the fighting between the villages and the town.Let's work together.

My view said...

Anonymous said...
The A & B budget battle has made everyone a loser. The town still has not approved the tennis bubble proposal which would have reduced my taxes, generated annual rent for the town. Let's stop the fighting between the villages and the town.Let's work together

AMEN!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am also fed up with the small group of trouble makers who have one desire: to split this town apart. The failure of the Town Board to approve the the tennis bubble deal highlights the fact that our elected officials have allowed a small group of people to hijack the town. Nothing is getting done. Before the lawsuits we all worked together and cooperated with each other. AMEN to the last two bloggers.

Greenburgh Taxpayer said...

To Independent Thinker,

I agree with you -- some parkland may have to be sold, and restrictions that fit the neighborhoods would be best.

Anonymous said...

The NY State Legislature makes it difficult to convert parkland into develop-able land. Once parkland is dedicated, the law requires the State Legislature to grant localities permission to in effect un-dedicate the land. Almost impossible.
I want a high quality of life. I don't want to see Greenburgh over-developed. I like my parks

dano said...

Anon at 4:54 said, "Let's stop the fighting between the villages and the town. Let's work together."

I agree with stopping the fighting. But there are situations in life that necessitate divorce. This may be one of them. (I wonder how Eastchester township and Mamaroneck township, for example, function.)

I read and considered every post on this page, and I do think that forming two cities would make everything less complicated (and less drama-filled) for everyone from an organizational structure and municipal efficiency perspective. It's an annoying legal process to become a city, but it certainly is do-able.

The Village of Greenburgh idea is good, too, though it would probably be wiser to make two or three villages out of the large unincorporated section.

Anonymous said...

regarding the 2007 budget ... http://www.greenburghny.com/FCpdf/2007%20Tentative%20Budget.pdf ...

all account items with a x.100 suffix ... PERSONAL SERVICES?!?!?

i'm assuming/hoping that this is a typo and that it should read PERSONNEL

Anonymous said...

2 cities will never happen -- too many people in the villages and unincorporated greenburgh like their school districts and dont want them combined with others under a city control. People will tolerate feiners antics before they let the schools go downhill

Village Resident said...

To Anonymous

You don't need two cities. You just need seven villages - the six we have plus Greenburgh village - within the town of Greenburgh. The Town government simply becomes the Greenburgh village government, and the town government ceases to have much to do. That doesn't affect the school districts at all. School districts cross town lines, look at Valhalla.

Anonymous said...

Dear My View:

The Irvington Park you speak of is open to everyone based on how it was purchased. (Irvington is coy about not posting a sign to that effect unlike its other park which says it is restricted to residents).

The issue is not just parks. Its facilities like Theodore Young community center (which has an operating budget in the millions) but is paid for
only by unincorporated even though it is essentially open to everyone including people outside the town.

Anonymous said...

to anon,

you are correct about villages, i just dont know about cities.

if the rest of gburgh became a village i think edgemont would want to become its own village, which would leave hartsdale, mayfair, etc. to become 1 or 2 more. I think that is best. then with all of the town in different villages, town govt would be downsized.

Greenburgh Taxpayer said...

The issue is not just parks and the young center, it is also the police budget (eg. the "marine" unit).

Unfortunately the villages are not willing to negotiate. Until the lose a few more court battles.

Stuck at 4 corners said...

Dear Dano:

Eastchester has a town pool at Lake Isle. Its open to all residents of the town. It has two incorporated villages (tuckahoe and bronxville) and an unincorporated area but they seem to co-operate much better than Greenburgh even though there are wide financial disparities in the town as we have here in Greenburgh. Its smaller than Greenburgh and maybe thats the answer. Greenburgh, like Iraq, is a fiction.

My View said...

Hey, Greenburgh Taxpayer, if you are so unhappy about a few "foreigners" using the Young Center and the parks, why don't you tell the Town Council to stop letting them in? Then you won't have a beef. Will that make you feel more neighborly? Do you want the Greenburgh police department and the Village police departments to have border crossing checkpoints, like you seem to want for the town and the villages?

Fact Checker said...

Dear My View:

You are missing the point. No one cares who uses the parks. The point is if you can use it you have to pay for it. That is what the Bernstein litigation is about.

Do you think its fair that a village resident can use Harts Brook park but only residents of unincorporated Greenburgh like Bernstein are billed for its upkeep and maintenance? It isnt and thats why Bernstein keeps winning in court. Veteran Park is closed to villagers. Thats why only unincorporated is taxed for its upkeep.

My View said...

No, fact checker, you are missing the point. Villagers can use the park, whether or not they want to (and generally they don't) because the Town Council has decided to open them up to the general public without asking the villagers. It is like a lawyer offering advice to someone who hasn't asked for it, and then sending them a bill.

I have been told that the law says that the parks and the Young center have to be restricted to the unincorporated area. If the Town Council wants to make a gift of opening up the parks and the Young center, that is very nice. But if you are then going to charge the villagers for it, don't you think that they ought to be asked first, and agree to accept this "gift" that they then are asked to pay for?

If we are going to be fair then we should either restrict them or else be neighborly and invite villagers in without a charge.

If you are ever invited to dinner at someone's house, and then you are asked to pay for the grocery bill, you woudn't think that is right, would you.

Fact Checker said...

Dear My View:

The Town Board is elected by the entire town - not just the residents of unincorporated Greenburgh. Town Law says that a facility such as a park that is owned by the Town and which is open to all residents of the Town must be paid for by all of the residents of the Town.

So when you say the villagers were not consulted, not only is that irrelevant under Town Law, but, its nonsense. Again, the Town Board is elected (and most of the voters live in the villages). When Congress votes funds for a park in Alaska, do I get to say, hey, I'll never use it, they didnt ask me, why should I pay? Of course not.

By the way, when I get invited to someone's house for dinner I bring a gift. I dont come empty handed.

I urge you to go the the Town's website and read the court's amended Taxter Ridge decision which discusses Town Law in detail.

Greenburgh Taxpayer said...

Dear Stuck at 4 corners,

You may be right, that Eastchester is smaller, but I also suspect it is that they haven't had a "leader" like Feiner, who, even when warned that Bernstein would sue over the Taxter Ridge purchase, pushed ahead. Feiner increased the size of this problem, and continues to do so (the SAT camp). He should focus on providing Town services, not encroaching on school or village services.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 5:16 PM: You focus attention on Feiner. Bass, Barnes, Juettner & Sheehan also voted to appeal the Bernstein lawsuit. No one on the Bd wants to shift taxes from the villages to unincorporated Greenburgh. Actions speak louder than words. The Board spoke out unanimously when they all agreed to appeal the Bernstein lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

sorry. I meant shift taxes from unincorporated Greenburgh to the villages.

Anonymous said...

Francis Sheehan said unincorporated would be getting an explanation for his vote to appeal. Still waiting.....

Greenburgh Taxpayer said...

My explanation is that francis sheehan, like the other council members, is trying to build consensus, a concept Mr. Feiner does not buy into. The council may have realized that Mr. Feiner has led the Villages, like the Pied Piper leading the rats and then the children, away from sanity, and the only course now is for the Villages to learn through the course of litigation that the approach was not wise.

Anonymous said...

francis sheehan, paul feiner and all the other members of the town board have voted the same way. they all agreed to appeal the bernstein lawsuit. The town budget allocates funds to the A budget and to the B budget. Feiner, Sheehan, Bass, Barnes and Juettner all voted for last years budget. They all voted for mediation.
There is no difference of opinion.

Anonymous said...

I'm happy that feiner,sheehan,bass,barnes and juettner decided to fight the litigation. I hope that they won't shift dollars from the B fund to the A fund when they approve a budget later this year. they shouldn't be intimidated!

No backbone said...

Intimidation? That is risible especially as the villages were pushing for the appeal and thats where the votes are. Cowardice is more like it.

Anonymous said...

Juettner voted to reduce her taxes by appealing bernstein case. At least the others voted to increase theirs.

Anonymous said...

Dear anon at 12:14,

The others may have voted to increase their taxes, but my guess is that their council stipend (determined by Gburgh voters) is larger than any tax increase.

Anonymous said...

Let's focus on the big picture. The fighting that is currently going on because some people have hidden agenda's is stopping progress in this town. We have a responsive town, good services, lower taxes than other localities. The A & B controversy is creating unnecessary divisiveness. It's hurting everyone.

Anonymous said...

You are so right! There are inequities in both the A & B budget. It probably equals out. For example, residents of the villages use Taxter Ridge park but don't pay for it. Residents of unincorporated Greenburgh pay the same amount of money to fund the operations of the Town Hall. Yet, most of the work conducted at town hall benefits unincorporated Greenburgh. We used to get along. Lets go back to those good ol' days.

Anonymous said...

Meant to say..residents of the villages pay the same dollars as residents of unincorporated Greenburgh for town hall operations. Most of the operations conducted at Town hall benefit unincorporated Greenburgh, not the villages. It all equals out

Anonymous said...

The unincorporated people do not think it evens out. NYS Law is being disregarded.

Anonymous said...

Some unicorporated people think it does not even out.Other unincorporated people do. Some unincorporated people are upset because the town bd has become disfunctional - we, unincorporated greenburgh tennis players, want the tennis courts fixed up. we want to play tennis indoors during the winter. We liked the rent $$$ the town was going to receive each year from sportstime.

Anonymous said...

Dear anon at 1:04,

Feiner has always tried to appeal to special interest groups within the unincorporated Gburgh, whether it is the tennis players or the day care center. If Feiner were doing his job, these facilities would be available, but would, like all of Gburgh parks and facilities be charged to the entire town, not just the the town outside the villages, unless allowed by state law. The villages are nervous, as allueded to by other posters, that the more of the facilities which allow access by village residents, the more the tax allocations prolbems increase.

Anonymous said...

Feiner wants to make Greenburgh better. That is why he appeals, anon, to tennis players and day care users.
As a tennis player I think it is sad that politics is preventing something that could have been very positive from happening. My quality of life has been impacted in a negative manner because of the foolish fighting regarding the A & B budget allocations. I have always felt that I was getting my monies worth from the town.

Anonymous said...

Dear anon at 3:10 PM

Did it ever occur to you that the law might not allow the Town to open the tennis courts to everyone? The Finneran Law specifically says that the Town must restrict its parks and recreational facilities to residents of unincorporated Greenburgh. The Town has been violating this law left and right and you are suggesting that they violate it some more.

It would make more sense if the Town asked that the law be amended to give the Town Council more discretion regarding residence restrictions. But of course the Town Council hasn't got the guts to do that because a few people, and you know who I mean, want to score points instead of getting some real solutions.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon at 5:02

There are many, many residents of unincorporated Gburgh who do not want to give the Council any flexibility in providing more benefits to the Village residents without their being charged for such.

Anonymous said...

Dear anon at 5:56 PM

Have you ever realized that the villages don't want the benefits that the Town Board is illegally bestowing on them? If the Town Council obeyed the law, and restricted the town parks and recreational facilities to residents of the unincorporayted area as the law requires, we wouldn't be having these disputes and you wouldn't have anything to complain about.

If the Town Council wants to let non-residents into the town parks and recreatioonal facilities, get the law changed. Until then, keep your parks and recreational facilities to yourselves, and stop trying to get the villagers to pick up your expenses. We have our own parks and recreational facilities, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon at 6:14

Villagers have more votes than unincorporated residents.

Part of the problem is that Feiner insists on buying property which can not be restricted -- like Taxter. He was warned this would be a problem. Where were the Villagers then, I do not recall them urging Mr. Feiner not to acquire Taxter Ridge.

Anonymous said...

Picking up where Anon 11/04/2006 6:14 PM left off, may I be so bold as to suggest that the villages pull together as one to secede from Greenburgh altogether. How sweet would that be ... Greenburgh-free!! And if you could figure out a way to take us in Edgemont along with you, we'd all sure appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

Some people want to divide the town. There is no reason for that. The villages pay very little taxes to the town (next year the average family will pay less than $100 a year total to the town for town services). Residents of unincorporated Greenburgh should be happy then the taxes that the average village resident pays. Do we get value for our taxes? The answer is yes. Are the services great? Yes. Is the town responsive to our complaints? Yes. Do our elected officials listen to us? Yes.
What's the problem?

Anonymous said...

taxes of unincorporated greenburgh residents are less than the taxes most people in villages pay. We get great value

Anonymous said...

Unincorporated services are not great.

1. DPW -- infrequent recyclying pickups, garbage only 1 a week during holdays, snow removal not good. Leaf law attempts to put collection problems on backs of taxpayers.

2. Traffic -- no timed lights on central. No directions of traffic at hartsdale during rush hour. Police just stand there. Worse than having no police, they just park, frequently in no parking stops, block what difficult traffic flows there are. Cars leaving garage back up to second floor.

3. Roads are not paved frequently.

4. Dead or dying trees on town right of way are not adequately pruned. This is a town responsibility. After the latest storm (what was it the 4th storm of the century this summer), the town started taking down a couple trees, but they are only taking down teh very top. Now,in effect, there is a stump about 20 feet tall, that goes up to the first level of wires (the cable wires). Now there is a living dead tree -- if it falls, not only will it take out cable service, it could fall on a car etc. And this is just one of the very few trees that they pruned at all.


And -- Town keeps trying to impose taxes in violation of NYS law.

Anonymous said...

Greenburgh is a well managed town. The proposed town budget includes tax cuts for the villages (9%) and a very small 1% increase for unincorporated Greenburgh. This increase is being proposed dispite the fact that Elmsford pulled out of the library contract, costing the town over $250,000 a year.
Sometimes we, the taxpayers, take good management for granted. Check today's Journal News (www.lohud.com)-Rockland. Stony Point, a town in Rockland recently approved a 27.5% tax increase. Orangetown approved a 2.75% increase --much more than Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but that doesn't stop Bernstein and his friends from complaining as though they were being mistreated, For all his flakiness, Feiner seems to be providing good government. There is little basis for all the complants and venom.

Anonymous said...

I think Stony Point and Rockland had tax raises because of the Mirant problem.

If Bernstien's complaints are off base, how come he keeps winning in court.

Anonymous said...

cortlandt taxes are going up 2%- more than Greenburgh's according to todays Journal News

Anonymous said...

forget increase %%

we have very high town taxes in $$

I pay in $$, not %%

Feienr is too busy cutting deals all around -- valhalla, ardsley fire men, -- has to stop

Anonymous said...

Compare Greenburgh with Ossining. The town tax increase in Ossining is 9.30% this year. The town tax increase in Ossining for village residents is up 7%
In Greenburgh the tax increase is 1% in 2007. For village residents it's down by over 9%.
The town of Greenburgh tax increases have been less than other localities for a number of years.

Anonymous said...

and our property taxes are higher than white plains, scarsdale, yonkers and eastchester

this discussio is meaningless, there are tons of municipalities in westchester.

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to compare the services and taxes in each neighboring community. Greenburgh tax increases have been lower than many other communities over the years. Greenburgh also offers residents more services than surrounding communities.

Anonymous said...

What services does Greenburgh offer that White Plains, Scarsdale, Eastchester, Yonkers dont? They pick up trash, shovel snow, etc.

Oh, I know, Gburgh offers services to Village residents, like the Young Center and Taxter Ridge, and only charges the town outside the villages.

Anonymous said...

Indoor pool.
After school programs.
Sanitation doesn't have to be left on the curb.
brick sidewalk maintenance/installation (Old Edgemont)
those are just a few services Greenburgh offers that other localities don't

Michael Kolesar said...

Greenburgh Nutrition Program

The details of the Greenburgh Nutrition Program are presented on pages 87 through 90 of the tentative Town 2007 budget. Some interesting deductions are as follows:

1. Town wide the taxpayers will contribute $223,166 towards this program.
2. The total number of projected meals is 132,500 (page 87). Thus the taxpayers are contributing / subsidizing this program to the extent of $1.684 per meal ( $223,166 / 132,500).
3. Of the 132,500 meals projected to be provided, only 61,500 will go to residents of the Town. Thus 71,000 (132,500 minus 61,500) or 53.5% of the total will go to non-Town individuals.
4. Therefore I conclude that the taxpayers of the Town of Greenburgh are contributing approximately $119,583 ($1.684 X 71,000) to outsiders.

While I have a good social heart, shouldn’t a program that does so much for individuals outside of the Town be handled by say the County? Over 10 years like this (and this is consistent with the prior year), we are talking about more than $1,000,000 “donated” by the taxpayers of Greenburgh to other municipalities. We are very kind in Greenburgh.

Michael Kolesar said...

Greenburgh Nutrition Program

The details of the Greenburgh Nutrition Program are presented on pages 87 through 90 of the tentative Town 2007 budget. Some interesting deductions are as follows:

1. Town wide the taxpayers will contribute $223,166 towards this program.
2. The total number of projected meals is 132,500 (page 87). Thus the taxpayers are contributing / subsidizing this program to the extent of $1.684 per meal ( $223,166 / 132,500).
3. Of the 132,500 meals projected to be provided, only 61,500 will go to residents of the Town. Thus 71,000 (132,500 minus 61,500) or 53.5% of the total will go to non-Town individuals.
4. Therefore I conclude that the taxpayers of the Town of Greenburgh are contributing approximately $119,583 ($1.684 X 71,000) to outsiders.

While I have a good social heart, shouldn’t a program that does so much for individuals outside of the Town be handled by say the County? Over 10 years like this (and this is consistent with the prior year), we are talking about more than $1,000,000 “donated” by the taxpayers of Greenburgh to other municipalities. We are very kind in Greenburgh.

Michael Kolesar said...

Greenburgh Nutrition Program

The details of the Greenburgh Nutrition Program are presented on pages 87 through 90 of the tentative Town 2007 budget. Some interesting deductions are as follows:

1. Town wide the taxpayers will contribute $223,166 towards this program.
2. The total number of projected meals is 132,500 (page 87). Thus the taxpayers are contributing / subsidizing this program to the extent of $1.684 per meal ( $223,166 / 132,500).
3. Of the 132,500 meals projected to be provided, only 61,500 will go to residents of the Town. Thus 71,000 (132,500 minus 61,500) or 53.5% of the total will go to non-Town individuals.
4. Therefore I conclude that the taxpayers of the Town of Greenburgh are contributing approximately $119,583 ($1.684 X 71,000) to outsiders.

While I have a good social heart, shouldn’t a program that does so much for individuals outside of the Town be handled by say the County? Over 10 years like this (and this is consistent with the prior year), we are talking about more than $1,000,000 “donated” by the taxpayers of Greenburgh to other municipalities. We are very kind in Greenburgh.