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Croton Village Board Seeks Permission To Override Tax Cap

Members of the Croton Village Board are seeking to pass a local law, which will give them the option of overriding the state's property tax cap.
Members of the Croton Village Board are seeking to pass a local law, which will give them the option of overriding the state's property tax cap. Photo Credit: Jessica Glenza

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- Croton Village Trustees intend to adopt a local law that would give the board permission to override the state's 2 percent tax cap.

Croton Village Trustees call the move an "insurance policy."

"We have every intention of coming in under the 2 percent levy cap," said Mayor Leo Wiegman. A tax levy is all government revenue raised through real property taxes.

In order to adopt the local law necessary to allow the possible override, the village must hold a public hearing before trustees vote on the provision. The public hearing is currently scheduled for 8 p.m., Jan. 22.

Village residents still have months to wait before they'll know any details about the village budget. The Croton Village manager's budget is not usually introduced until the third week in March. The finalized budget does not need to be adopted until the last day in April, according to state law.

If the village did not pass the local law and inadvertently overrode the tax cap, the village would have to put money in excess of the annual levy cap into a reserve fund to offset the following year's tax levy. This was described as a "fine" by Croton Village trustees during the Monday evening board meeting, Jan. 7.

"It's the prudent thing for towns and villages to do, in as much as if you end up at the last minute exceeding the 2 percent tax cap on the tax levy, then there's monetary penalty that's imposed on that municipality the following year," said Trustee Ann Gallelli.  

Although the state has advertised the cap as "2 percent," individual municipalities go through calculations that make each tax levy cap individual to the district.

For example, after using the state's complex formula to calculate the 2013 tax levy cap, Croton-Harmon School District cap is around 3.1 percent. The district is still waiting on some figures from the state to finalize the number.

The Town of Cortlandt did not override the tax levy cap in its 2013 fiscal year budget. 

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