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Cortlandt Daily Voice serves Buchanan, Cortlandt & Croton

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Croton Board Approves 1.5 Percent Tax Rate Increase

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – The Village of Croton Board of Trustees adopted the 2012-13 fiscal year budget Monday evening, which increases the village tax rate by 1.5 percent.

The $17,354,393 total budget will increase the village tax rate by $3.52, to $240.75 per $1,000 of assessed value. For the average home in Croton, assessed at $12,000 by the village, the annual tax bill would be $2,889.

Trustee Greg Schmidt cast the lone dissenting vote, although he declined to offer comments about the budget during the end portion of the meeting, typically reserved for reports by village trustees.

"It’s been a long, long, long time since there was a 1.5 percent increase in village taxes," said Trustee Ian Murtaugh. "Aside from that we have a lot of pressure upon this village to raise taxes, and our staff, our professional staff have done a wonderful job helping us keep taxes down.”

Some of the savings were found in unfilled staff positions, and the board also brought the tax rate down from the originally estimated 6.76 percent by increasing estimated revenue. A vacant position for a 22nd police officer in the Croton Police Department was left unfilled, as was a position for a laborer in the Department of Public Works, said Village Manager Abraham Zambrano.

The total tax levy, the portion of the budget to be funded through real property taxes, is $10,579,289, increasing the levy by 1.42 percent. Although the village board passed a resolution several months ago allowing the village to override New York State’s property tax cap, the levy of 1.42 percent allows the village to follow the spirit of the law, which calls for a 2 percent tax levy cap.

Estimated revenues from property tax penalties were increased by $10,000, as was estimated revenue from rental of real property and estimated revenue from parking permits.

About $154,000 in vehicles alone were cut from the village’s adopted $1.2 million capital budget, which is funded largely through bonds. Vehicles that were not funded included a 4x4 pickup truck for the DPW, estimated at $35,000, a $49,000 Ford Expedition for the Chief of the Croton Fire Department, a vehicle for the EMS Captain, estimated at $40,000 and a police car estimated at $30,000.

The village also cut an estimated $25,000 for a sprinkler system in the Washington Engine Fire House, but funded $20,000 to the fire house's apron walls and kitchen. An estimated $1 million in capital improvements to Croton Point Avenue were postponed until next fiscal year, reducing the capital budget by $250,000, and $12,500 in GPS units for the DPW were also not funded.


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