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Pelham Manor Proposed Budget Stays Within Tax Hike Limit

PELHAM MANOR, N.Y. – Pelham Manor residents could see a 4.04 percent tax levy increase in the next fiscal year, as recommended in the village’s 2012-13 proposed budget, which suggests a $13,377,693 total spending plan.  Due to growth in Pelham Manor’s commercial district, the village was able to exceed the state mandated 2 percent tax cap with a 4.05 percent maximum increase.

“I am pleased that the village manager was able to present a tentative budget that came within the tax cap,” Mayor Jim O’Connor said Monday. The proposed tax levy would increase the budget by 3.45 percent, spending an additional $436,161 compared to the 2011-2012 adopted budget that totals $12,931,532.

While the budget stays within the tax cap limits, the board was forced to make “tough decisions” that were “not taken lightly,” according to O’Connor, including leaving two positions vacant in the police department and department of public works.

“We believe that, via allocations within shifts during the day, we can adequately cover the village and responsibly protect our citizens and our commercial property owners without filling that one position,” O’Connor said of the vacant Pelham Manor Police Officer position.

He added that flexibility, which comes in “very, very handy” during snowstorms and torrential rainstorms, will be compromised.  Still, the mayor said “when you’re presented with extraordinary budgetary constraints,” the decision to leave those jobs unfilled “makes sense.”

O’Connor said “the idea was certainly to shift the tax burden as much as possible from our homeowners to the commercial district by revitalizing it and making it more valuable,” which the village has done successfully.

The proposed Homestead exemption tax levy increase is at 2.33 percent – from $8,805,350 to $9,010,318 – while the non-Homestead tax levy is suggested to increase 11.55 percent from $2,000,897 to $2,232,090.

He said that “as a home-owning taxpayer myself, 2.33 percent seems pretty reasonable for the services that we are providing” and added that the difference between the two tax increases is not unfair for the commercial property owners.

“The commercial taxpayers are seeing a greater percentage increase because the value of their property is either increasing at a greater rate or decreasing at a lesser rate than the values of our homeowners properties,” the mayor said. “It’s a value proposition. The value is there for the commercial taxpayers – therefore they have to pay their fair share on taxes.”

The village will be adopting the proposed budget on Monday, April 23 at 8:15 p.m. at Four Penfield Place.

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