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Fact Sheet Says 17/20 Annexation Won't Save Taxes

OSSINING, N.Y. – Town of Ossining election districts 17 and 20 would save less than 0.5 percent in taxes if they are annexed by the Village of Briarcliff Manor, according to a fact sheet compiled by town officials.

The fact sheet was put together in response to a request by many Town of Ossining residents for more information concerning the possible annexation, an email sent by Supervisor Catherine Borgia said. A meeting to further discuss the issue will be held on Sept. 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Anne M. Dorner Middle School in Ossining.

"If they are annexed into the Village of Briarcliff Manor, residents of election districts 17 & 20 will double pay for garbage and recycling, water, sewer, lighting, police, emergency services (ambulance), and fire protection, since those services will be paid for both in their Village of Briarcliff Manor taxes as well as in the (Town of Ossining) special district taxes," the fact sheet said.

This is because state law does not allow for removal or change in taxation for "special district" services even after annexation, the fact sheet said. As a result, a potential savings of $2.71 per thousand dollars of assessed value following annexation would be negated by the cost of duplicated payment for services.

The fact sheet further states that the tax rate to unincorporated areas of the Town of Ossining, other than election districts 17 and 20, would increase by 24 percent following annexation, amounting to more than $536 for the average homeowner.

Art Sullivan, one of about 12 people living in election districts 17 and 20 who started the annexation movement, said on Monday that he had not yet seen the fact sheet sent out by Town of Ossining officials. He preferred not to comment on anything stated in the fact sheet until he had a chance to look it over.

The proposal for Briarcliff to annex election districts 17 and 20, an area that encompasses a commercial strip along North State Road that is part of the Town of Ossining, was made in light of a long-term goal that has been stated by Briarcliff trustees to form a coterminous Town/Village of Briarcliff Manor, the fact sheet said.

With a coterminous Town/Village of Briarcliff Manor, Briarcliff village would no longer belong to the Town of Ossining and the Town of Mount Pleasant as it does now, but rather to its own town/village.

"All proposed changes should be evaluated with that long-term goal in mind. All options will require a comprehensive study given the complexity of the issues," the fact sheet stated.

In May, two presentations by Briarcliff Village Manager Philip Zegarelli on the annexation issue drew mixed reactions and a lot of questions from local residents. Over 150 people attended the second presentation held at the Anne M. Dorner Middle School.

Are you in favor of changing Ossining and/or Briarcliff's municipal structures? Leave a comment below or join on Facebook.

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