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Mamaroneck Tax Cap Override Hearing Postponed For Two Weeks

Mamaroneck Village Board of Trustees wrapped up this week's meeting in record time.

Declaring that the Board of Trustees had raised questions about the proposed tax override that they needed answered last evening, Mayor Norman Rosenblum of the Village of Mamaroneck postponed the scheduled public hearing on the matter until March 26.

“A local municipality can, on a yearly basis, vote to override the two percent tax limit,” said Rosenblum.

What would likely have been the main issue at last night’s board meeting, the proposed override of the state’s tax levy limit of two percent, requires the board to pass the law with a 60 percent supermajority.  In Mamaroneck, it would require a 4-1 vote.

Before the board left the topic after quickly moving to put it off for two weeks, Trustee John Hofstetter suggested that the board could take money that has been put into a reserve fund “every year for the last few years” and “should be able to work within the two percent cap this year,” he said. “It is incumbent on all of us here to make sure this occurs.”

“My position now, and even after the public hearing will be that we should live within the two percent that the state has requested of us,” he said. “Other municipalities voted to allow this, but given our past history of how we’ve been able to use our ability to budget and cut back during the year . . . we should be able to stay within the two percent.”

The board had scheduled a number of public hearings on March 26 to address issues including an amendment to the authority of the Village Attorney (which will be held), changes to the Building Code regarding Certificates of Occupancy and a proposed ban on plastic bags at retail counters (which the board postponed). 

In other business, the board accepted eight tax assessment revisions for residential property, transferred $3,000 from the budget allotted to village justice salaries to buying uniforms and weapons for use by two new court officers and approved an unforeseen $6,000 expenditure to service the village’s copy machines. 

The board also approved spending a $72,000 retainer for the Village Attorney, plus expenses, and a $250 hourly fee for services outside the scope of the retainer.

As the board began to wrap up its agenda in under an hour before going into executive session to deal with personnel issues, Trustee Toni Pergola Ryan joked that board members should take the opportunity to speak longer and slow the meeting down.

“We’re usually here until midnight,” she said.  “Our families would be shocked if we came home [at this hour].”

Allison March 14, 2012 at 06:04 PM
I'm more concerned about the rationale behind and supposed need to consider overriding the 2% cap, than the details about the vote. There are many of us out here not only tightening up on our own budgets, even some that don't have any discretionary spending to think about. How will this local government entity work more efficiently- look at the budget and heed the advice of the budget committee for starters. What's being done about shared services? What happened to that hiring freeze discussed years ago? How much is being spent on village vehicles, repair and maintenance, iPhones/ cell phones, equipment, consultants, ect, ect.? You have to actually look at the budget for starters. The village can easily do better to cut the fat if there's an original idea or goal to do so.
SRT March 14, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Thank you for posting that, I did not realize that they had spelled out that a super majority for this 60%. Do you think that was intentional? They sure made it easier by making it 60%, since I believe most town and Village boards are 5, essentially it is overridden with a simple majority. It will be interesting to see what percentage of municipalities override.
Chris S March 14, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Public employee salaries, benefits, and pensions account for 85%+ of the budget and are the fastest increasing expenses as well. You can write as many littering tickets you want, or reduce the other 15% of the budget, but there can be no tax relief until you address public employee salaries, benefits, and pensions. Tax override requests will be made every year going forward until the largest, and fastest growing part of the budget is reduced. This is not my opinion, this is a fact.
BG7 March 15, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Yea, but your confusing what the village can do with what its mandated to do by state law. Without state mandates changing there will be no tax relief. And as we have seen just this week, the lbaor union lobby is very strong in NYS.
Chris S March 15, 2012 at 03:43 PM
We need to take drastic measures, otherwise our taxes, already the highest in the country, will continue to climb. Can the Village voluntarily declare bankruptcy to renegotiate contracts? Can some/all of the public employees be laid off and contract out their functions to private companies? The unions have protected themselves in so many ways that the taxpayers have to think outside of the box to get any type of tax relief.

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