Friday, October 23, 2009


There are almost 2,000 hotel rooms in Greenburgh. Other communities in New York State and Westchester have been granted permission by NYS to tax hotel guests. The NYS Legislature would have to grant Greenburgh permission to impose a hotel tax on guests. The Town Board will discuss asking the NYS Legislature for permission to have a hotel tax. If the State Legislature would authorize the town to have a hotel tax we could probably generate up to a few hundred thousand dollars a year in revenue –which would reduce YOUR taxes.
This years budget is difficult because:
1) Our benefit costs (retirement and medical are up 1.2 million dollars)
2) Our mortgage tax is down 1.3 million dollars.
3) There was a 7.8 million dollar reduction in assessed valuation.
4) Interest income is down by about $300,000 in the A budget and $650,000 in the B budget
5) Sales tax revenue is down $700,000
The members of the Greenburgh Town Board are working very hard trying to keep the 2010 taxes as low as possible. We are making substantial cuts in the proposed budget which will be released a week from today.

Governor Approves Legislation Authorizing the Cities of New Rochelle, Rye, and White Plains to Raise Revenues through Hotel Occupancy Taxes

Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) announced that legislation to authorize the cities of New Rochelle and White Plains to impose hotel room occupancy taxes was passed by the Senate and signed into law by Governor Paterson. The Governor also approved legislation extending the City of Rye’s authority to impose its own hotel occupancy tax.
S. 1886 (Oppenheimer), S. 1887 (Oppenheimer) and S. 1087 (Oppenheimer) permit the cities of New Rochelle, Rye and White Plains, respectively, to enact a daily room tax of up to three percent on hotels, motels, inns, clubs or similar places of public accommodation.
“Three years ago, I sponsored legislation allowing the city of Rye to impose a hotel occupancy tax,” said Senator Oppenheimer. “Rye became first the local government in Westchester County to gain this authority, which has become an important revenue-raising alternative to local property taxes.”
The City of New Rochelle estimates that it will raise between $200,000 and $250,000 in new revenue from the hotel room tax, while the City of Rye stands to collect over $170,000 by the extension of its taxing authority.
“In these difficult economic times, municipal governments all over the state have been faced with declining revenues, most notably reductions in sales tax revenues,” observed Senator Oppenheimer. “Local governments must be given greater flexibility to raise revenue other than by increasing already high property taxes. I am pleased that the Governor has enacted these tax bills into law, and I favor expanding this taxing authority to other cities and smaller municipalities that request it,” said the Senator.
Town of Greenburgh
Work Session Agenda of the Greenburgh Town Board
Tuesday – October 27, 2009 – 9:00AM
(As of September 15, 2009 – Work Sessions will begin at 9:00AM
Except where schedule changes are made by the Board)

(Please note that, although the Work Session Agenda is shared with the public prior to each Work Session, the Agenda may be revised at any point up to the start of the meeting as well as during the meeting, if necessary.)
(All Work Sessions are Televised Live on Cablevision Channel 76, Verizon 35 and are streamed live. Work Sessions and Town Board Meetings will be aired each Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting at 7:02am and 4:45pm. Each segment will run for approximately 6 to 7 hours,
depending upon the length of the two meetings.)

09:00AM Agenda Review
09:15AM The Budget
11:00AM Hotel Tax
11:25AM Confirm Dates for November/December Work Sessions and
Board Meetings
11:30AM Executive Session – Personnel
12:00noon Adjourn Meeting

This Weekend on…..
- Farmers Markets
- PHOTOcentric: A Juried Photography Exhibition in Garrison
- Neu Nights Out in Purchase
- Middle School Dance Night at Life, Ardsley
- Ashford & Simpson in Tarrytown
- Music (most is Free!) in Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley, Tarrytown, Piermont,
- Friends of the Warner Library Fall Book Sale, Tarrytown
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at the Emelin Theater
- Spooktoberfest for Kids
- Family Fun Fair and Open House || Coop
- "Rabbit Hole" at the Irvington Library
- Closing Reception, Don Axleroad, and Performance by Katherine Adamenko at Blue Door Gallery
- Dancing with the Teachers II at the Campus Theater, Irvington
- The Harlem Wizards take on the Hastings Hotshots in the HHS Gym
- Captain William “Chip” Reynolds will present Life Aboard the Half Moon at the Beczak
- Diana Jones at the Common Ground Coffeehouse, Hastings
- Johnny Winter at Irvington Town Hall
- Halloween Hoorah! at The New York Botanical Gardens
- Scarecrows and Pumpkins Parade at the Greenburgh Nature Center
- "Walkure": part of the Film Festival @ Irvington Town Hall Theater
- River Songs: A Celebration of the Hudson: A Tribes Hill Production at the Beczak
- Student Musicale at the Dobbs Ferry Library
- Film Screening "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" at the Hastings Library
- Chrysalis Consort performing Bach Masterworks at Mercy College Rotunda
- Breast Cancer Fundraiser: In the Pink Foundation at Pumpernickel Restaurant
- "Notorious" - Classic Film Series: Alfred Hitchcock at the Paramount, Peekskill
Go to for more information on these and many more events this weekend.

Upcoming Documentaries and Classic Films Playing in the Area
Sunday, October 25 "Walkure"
- 1pm - "Walkure": part of the Film Festival @ Irvington Town Hall Theater
- 7:30pm: “Notorious”: Wednesday Night Classics Series: Hitchcock @ Paramount Center for the Arts, Peekskill
Wednesday, October 28
- 7:30pm: “Autumn Hearts: A New Beginning”: Mayim Film Series: Individual Choices @ Greenburgh Hebrew Center
Saturday, October 31
- 10pm “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” @ Irvington Town Hall Theater
- 11pm “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” @ Tarrytown Music Hall
Go to for more information on all of theses great films

Save the Date . . . . .
- Friday, November 6 -- Hastings Friday Night LIVE | Village of Hastings
- Friday & Saturday, November 13 &14 from 10am - 5pm -- Fall Book Sale | Irvington Public Library
- Saturday, November 14 from 7pm - 10pm -- Westchester County’s First Annual ’Stache-Off | Music Conservatory of Westchester, White Plains
- Halloween Fun --


Anonymous said...

Very good idea. I'm on board.

Anonymous said...

I second that. Tax the out-of- towners. How high can we go?

Anonymous said...

I third this. Great idea, paul

Yet another Feiner gimmick said...

Does the Town plan on taxing the hotels and motels in the villages too, or is it just the unincorporated area hotels and motels that will have to jack their prices? If it's covering hotels and motels in the villages, I wonder what the village governments have to say about that. If it's covering only the hotels in the unincorporated area, I can't imagine that they'll like the fact that the village hotels will be getting a competitive advantage in not being subject to the tax. Sounds to me like this is just another half-baked gimmicky idea that no one's thought through yet.

Anonymous said...

Great idea- police, fire, ems, building dept,etc...always at the hotels..these temporary residents use the services we pay for...let them pay a lil bit too! Great idea

Anonymous said...

2000 rooms- let's say 1/2 occupancy on any given day. 1000 rooms X 365. 365000 X 2.00 tax...would be nice. This plus the money the housing authority owes the residents would be a homerun

Anonymous said...

Super idea! go for it paul

Anonymous said...

tx non residents first. yes!

Ghost of Budgets Past said...

The tax needs to be modest enough that our hotels remain competitive. There are more than a few hotels just outside of Greenburgh, so approach this idea with intelligent caution.
This does not absolve you from the need to cut duplicative expenses. You must also abolish patronage jobs that are pure frills - like arts coordinator and energy miser.
As for the inevitable Inside v. Outside - petition the state to become the City of Greenburgh so that you can impose a city-wide sales tax.

ed krauss said...

If businesses were run like governments,and every time they encountered a shortfall they raised prices, the better run businesses would remain in business while the others would be out of business quickly.

It's the easy way out. Tax, tax and tax. Apply fees more fees and more fees.

Here's an idea, how about running a tighter ship? A more well managed one with prudent fiscal policies, and a "business plan" to follow.

New York sales tax sent NYers to New Jersey-where there was no sales tax- to do their shopping for many years. Milions upon mllions of retail dollars were lost.

Westchester,NY City and NY State are the most highly taxed entities in the U.S.We can do very little about NYC and the tax structure of the U.S. Nevertheless, we should have a tighter reign on the fiscal policies of Greenburgh.

We have, yet another, "on the mind, out of the mouth" idea from the guy who reads an article, finds it interesting, articulates it, and wants to codify if, WITHOUT so much as 15 milliseconds worth of thought no less vetting.

Tax and spend. Borrow and spend. Set new fees and spend. How about MANAGE AND SAVE?

When are we going to catch on to Feiner's act? When are we going to see the shallowness of his ideas? When are we going to go beyond the surface and see how our hard earned dollars have been and are being pissed away...for 18 years, and counting.

Question those hairbrain ideas. Ask for the backup. Find out whether the positives outweigh the negatives. All that glitters in the Feiner years is FOOL'S Gold.

hal samis said...

I see legislation to allow CITIES impose a hotel tax.
Do I assume legislation to allow TOWNS to impose a hotel tax?

Here's a new idea.

How about selling zoning changes?
Right now we give them away for free to connected developers.
This could be a big windfall for the Town.

OK, let's be fair and give some of the zoning change fee to those pesky neighbors who always complain.

Since developers would be able to go to the window and just buy changes, there would be no need to make political campaign contributions...And without objections from the neighborhood, developers would get their way overnight. This then would result in the classic Greenburgh win-win.

If you want to be on the committee to set the fees, contact Alan Hochberg.

Murghk said...

Mr. Feiner,
Unless your intent is to deliberately mislead the public please stop posting the inaccurate statement that Town Board meetings are broadcast (both live and archived) on Channel 75.
It isn't true - and your insistence that it is just reinforces your foolish Emperor's New Clothes version of government.
When the equipment works, one can rent a $10 per month cable decoder box to watch the circus on Channel 75. If one has a QAM decoder built into one's new flat screen high definition TV, the Town channels are randomly assigned and reassigned at Optimum's whim to 99.002 through 99.008 - remember to use your set's Rescan function if you don't see the meeting on the channel you saw it last time.
Caution - the Surgeon General has determined that watching Town Board meetings may be hazardous to your health. Persons with high blood pressure and high regard for the truth are particularly warned, as is anyone who is subject to epileptic seizures brought on by random changes in volume and lighting.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ghosts of Budgets passed:

You wrote "As for the inevitable Inside v. Outside - petition the state to become the City of Greenburgh so that you can impose a city-wide sales tax."

Are you sure that a "Town (city) wide" sales tax will get you more than the present arrangement? Do you know exactly how the present arrangement works? You sound like someone who is shooting from the hip. If you have some data to support your idea, please share it.

Ghosts of Budgets Past said...

There is no current "town-wide" arrangement other than the proportional pass-through from the County sales tax. How reflective that is of sales actually taking place in Greenburgh is unknown.
Becoming a city would enable a "home-rule" city sales tax. There is no provision in NY's law for "town" sales tax - its either at the city or county level and while we may think that's absurd, upstaters don't.
Knowing that the total assessment of Greenburgh has DECLINED and the reported population has NOT INCREASED during Mr. Feiner's tenure as Supervisor, it is a not unreasonable assumption that by whatever measure the County apportions sales tax, Greenburgh's share has DECLINED. Observation leads one to believe that there is considerable sales volume, and as a locally imposed sales tax relies on reported dollar volume rather than a proxy measure for apportionment, it seems reasonable to think we'll collect more revenue.
Perhaps rather than studying the consolidation of fire districts Mr Feiner should be studying the consolidation of village/town government as a pathway to increasing resources to generate more revenues.

Anonymous said...

How about instead of raising taxes, we try lowering spending first?

Anonymous said...

Work session preview - "A" tax rate going up just under 10% and "B" tax rate going up about 7%.

The devil will be in the details.

Anonymous said...

Where is the miscellaneous category again? Is there one?

Missing Misc. Section Commission said...

The supervisor announced this afternoon that a commission has been formed to study the missing Misc. section headed by the usual suspects.
It's sole role will be to get the facts.