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Ossining Village Approves Budget, 4.12% Tax Rate Hike

Ossining Mayor William Hanauer, middle, speaks about the 2013 budget Tuesday night.
Ossining Mayor William Hanauer, middle, speaks about the 2013 budget Tuesday night. Photo Credit: Nathan Bruttell

OSSINING, N.Y. – Village of Ossining residents will pay an average of $105 more on their property tax bills next year after the village board unanimously approved its budget for 2013.

The board agreed 5-0 Tuesday night during a regular meeting to adopt the 2013 budget. The average resident’s tax bill is set to increase $105.15 from 2012, according to village documents.

The village adopted a 4.12 percent tax rate increase, to $181.674 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, up from $174.4799 in 2012, according to Village of Ossining records.

The 2013 total general fund budget is $30,744,663, with a property tax levy of $20,203,703 – a 2.66 percent increase, but still below the state tax levy cap.

Mayor William Hanauer said the tax rate increased because of the total valuation decrease and a number of tax certiorari payments, which are “placing a greater burden on residents whose assessments did not change.”

The total assessed valuation for 2013 ($111,208,550) dropped about 1.4 percent from 2012 ($112,790,147). Hanauer said numerous increases to other village revenue sources and attrition of village employees would allow the tax increase “to be kept to a minimum in 2013.”

“You have heard me repeatedly state that the board’s primary responsibility is to provide safety and security to our residents and merchants,” Hanauer said during the meeting. “This has been a very long and tedious process, but I also think a very successful one.”

Village Trustee Bob Daraio, who watched the budget process in previous years before going through it this year, agreed with Hanauer.

“This is my second time going through this, and I can tell you that our staff work so hard and do such an extraordinary job of finding ways to save our taxpayers money,” he said. “Our assessed values are falling at the same time the levies that go to the state are going up. They’re asking us for double-digit increases to them and they give us a single-digit tax cap.”

Trustee Marlene Cheatham, who will finish her term at the end of the year, said she expects the process to get tougher from here.

“The process started off easy (eight years ago), but every year it got more and more grueling as more and more had to be taken from the budget. It was down to ‘you can’t buy that pencil and please don’t buy that paper clip,’ ” she said. “Everybody’s pocket is being pinched, and we understand that as a board and we try to balance the two. … I’m kind of glad this was my last budget, and I don’t think next year is going to get any easier.”

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