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Rivertowns Daily Voice serves Dobbs Ferry, Hastings & Irvington
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Dobbs Ferry Mayor: We Want to Send a Message

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. – Looking to send a message to Albany, the Dobbs Ferry Board of Trustees voted to override the 2 percent tax levy cap this week. 

“We do want to send a message to Albany that you can’t have it both ways, tax caps are great but not without mandate relief,” said Dobbs Ferry Mayor Hartley Connett.

The law was passed by state legislators last year and limits the annual growth of property taxes levied by municipalities and school districts to 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. The tax cap can be overridden by the government body though, by a 60 percent majority vote.

Connett said the move was also out of self-preservation as there is no consequence for overriding the cap and according to him, 43 municipalities have already been hit with penalties for errors calculating it.

Other trustees chipped in with their thoughts on the tax cap and why it would be wise for Dobbs Ferry to override it at this time.

“You just make one mistake you get hit with a problem,” said trustee Vincent Rossillo.

Some were concerned about potential mistakes that could cost the village a lot of money down the line. 

“You may not know about that mistake for years and it compounds,” said trustee Catherine Kay.

Trustee Bill Flynn described the tax cap as a “shell game” because in his opinion state legislators are picking and choosing various mandates for the law without good reason.

“This is an issue that we’ve been discussing for a little while,” Connett said. “We didn’t want to give the perception out there that we weren’t working hard to lower the tax cap levy.”

To residents concerned about any potential tax increases, the board insisted that raising taxes was not the basis of this decision.

“We all own homes, we all pay taxes too, we are not considering this because we want to raise taxes,” said trustee Donna Cassell. “We do want to send the message that we have unfunded mandates.”

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