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April 26, 2018
Adopted Budget

I am pleased to announce that there will be no increase in the Village tax rate for the coming fiscal year 2018-19.  The rate stands at $7.95 per thousand of assessed valuation. While overall there is no increase in your Village taxes, some residents may experience an increase in their total tax bill due to the phase out of the abatement exemption or if they had an increase in their assessed value during this past year.  

While the tax rate is level, the tax levy is up by $307,062 (or 2.19%), very close to the rate of inflation.  Increased spending in the General Fund of $477,512 (or 2.76%) is partially offset by an increase in revenues of $171,000. Additionally, we were able to maintain our tax level without increasing our usage of fund balance, in fact we used $550 less fund balance than last year. 

This is the second Village Budget since revaluation of property values performed by the Town of Greenburgh and the seventh year since the property tax levy cap legislation.  While the tax freeze credit based on Village taxes ended in 2016, we have been committed to keeping all tax levy increases under the state’s limit. This year, we were $550,472 below the maximum allowable limit of $857,534.  As the years go on, the tax cap imposed by the state government has become more and more of a political gimmick and less and less of an assurance of fiscal propriety by local governments.  If we had targeted the state-imposed tax cap, Village taxes would have increased by almost 7% this year!  I am glad that your Village Board of Trustees continues to think for itself and does not need to look to Albany to figure out how best to spend your property tax dollars. 

Some details on the budget:

Expenditures: A significant decrease in insurances rates (-$326,808) was realized after a study and evaluation of various Workers’ Compensation and liability insurance carriers.  The insurance savings offset additional expenditures of $804,320 to yield an aggregate increase in the General Fund of $477,512. The largest portion of the increase is attributable to increased health insurance costs ($204,055) with contractual obligations in salary increases ($193,455) the second largest.  Our continued commitment to infrastructure projects led to increased debt service payments of $116,869, representing the third largest driver of the increase. For the first time, after years of increases, we will see a slight decrease in retirement and service awards costs (-$21,000).  Several departmental budgets were increased to keep pace with actual costs, including increased police overtime ($50,000), snow removal overtime and road salt ($40,000), road paving ($30,000) and the Village Prosecutor ($24,000).  Other departmental increases include $49,200 for Recreation and Park programs, which is largely offset by program revenue and $37,500 for maintenance of the Burnham Building, which houses our Irvington Public Library.  

Revenues: Offsetting these increases are budgeted revenues, which have increased by $171,000. The most notable of the increases are Court revenues, which are increasing by $60,000 largely due to the result of increased traffic enforcement.  The Village has experienced sustained growth in sales tax and mortgage tax, allowing a budgeted increase of $77,000.  Recreation fees are slated to rise by $29,000 to keep pace with program expenditures as previously noted.  

In our Water Department, the wholesale cost of water, purchased from the City of New York, will rise in July 2018.  The Village, after keeping water rates flat for the past two years, will increase the rate by 4.75% to keep pace with the costs of operation. The water fund continues to make great strides in reducing the long-standing deficit that has the potential of being eliminated in the next fiscal year. It has been a ten-year strategy to bring the fund from a deficit position while providing quality water and service.  

The budget process has focused on maintaining the current level of services to the public while investing in infrastructure, buildings, roads and parks.  With the cooperation of our Department Heads, I feel that this Adopted Budget, once again, is fiscally responsible and sustainable on a long-term basis.  I would like to thank Clerk/Treasurer Brenda Jeselnik for all of her help preparing this budget and monitoring fiscal operations day to day and to our Department Heads for their support and mindfulness in running their respective Departments.   

As a Board, my colleagues and I feel it is important to keep our tax rate as low as possible, especially considering the decreased deductibility of state and local taxes and the burdens placed on some by the recent property revaluation. 

FACE Benefit Concert This Saturday Night

I would like to personally invite all of you to the Irvington Town Hall Theater for a very special concert featuring Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams.  While their names might not be familiar I can ensure you they are extraordinary performers as evidenced by their past collaboration with such legends as Levon Helm, Bob Dylan, Mavis Staples, Little Feat, Phil Lesh and Friends and Rosanne Cash.  In addition, Irvington legends Divining Rod Band will be opening for Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams.  If that was not enough, there will be complimentary Captain Lawrence beer as well as complimentary wine from our friends at Wine Warehouse!  So, grab a group of friends and get your tickets now.

Tickets: $100 (50% tax deductible) available here: www.irvingtontheater.com

Net Proceeds from the event will benefit the Irvington FACE, a Village-based volunteer committee with a charitable mission to enhance the quality of life of the residents of Irvington by providing funding to Village departments, programs and special events. The mission is funded through a combination of fundraising campaigns, solicitations and special events (like this concert) conducted annually within the Irvington community.

WHAT BENEFITS FROM IRVINGTON FACE: Currently, FACE funding is provided to select Irvington Recreation Department events and programs, summer camp scholarships, holiday food gift baskets, senior citizen programs and services and the Village of Irvington annual 4th of July fireworks.

Thank you for reading my email and I look forward to seeing many of you Saturday night. 

Sincerely,

Brian C. Smith, Mayor