NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- City Manager Charles B. Strome is calling for a 6.99% tax increase based on a 5.75% increase in the City's levy, far in excess of the 2.49 tax levy cap required by New York State. As a result, the City will be required to hold a Public Hearing on the budget and secure a super-majority vote on Council.
Strome and City Finance Commissioner Howard Ratner met with reporters on Friday at City Hall.
The three major changes highlighted by Strome was a reduction in sworn police officers to 158 through attrition, an effective reduction in manning levels for the fire department and an end to loose leaf pick up. The police department is down from over 180 officers three years ago, according to Strome. The fire department manning levels were 31 several years ago but since reduced to 27. Under the current budget the City will not pay overtime to add manpower on a given shift unless the manning level falls below 24 and will only then bring them level up to 24, not 27. As a result, Ladder 12 will likely be out of service on a recurring basis. Residents will be required to bag all leaves starting next year.Read more
I have heard several people suggest that the Larchmont tax exemption request is no big deal because it amounts to “only” $38,000 each year. To them I ask, do you want to give $38,000 every year to Larchmont? How about Rye, or Scarsdale, or Pelham? And if so, why?
It is a trick to compare the $38,000 against a budget of $230 million in order to “prove” that is such a small number as to not matter at all. But it matters enormously.
Every year many New Rochelle residents go to City Hall to contest their property taxes, arguing that their homes are overvalued. And in many cases, their assessments are lowered and they owe New Rochelle less in taxes. But that does not mean that New Rochelle receives less tax revenue. It means the tax burden is then reapportioned among the other residents.Read more
Cameroon debt forgiven, Churches for a dollar, City Yards to be moved at great expense, sweetheart deals for developers and colleges, what else is next? We have a city management system with no accountability that can only accomplish thing with deals and give-a -ways. New Rochelle City Management is nickel and diming the citizens to a point where hard working families can’t afford to live in New Rochelle where they were born and raised any longer. Residents are forced to make some hard choices while management makes one bad decision after another. That is not what they are paid for and paid very well for I might say. They receive great salaries and benefits while working and in their retirement. The citizens will be paying for poor performances for a life time. It is time for a reality check.Read more
Simply said, I am toxic, and a mere glance at the newspapers, blogs, or lending an ear to the cable news indicates I suffer from a malady shared by most of world. It is rampant, a disease of the soul and spirit and it must stop NOW! Rationalizations about "critique", will of the Founding Fathers, ideology is no longer helpful. the patient is sick, very very sick and we have not diagnosed the cause of this illness.Read more
December 22, 2011
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Honorable Governor Cuomo,
I contact you as 56-year old New Rochellian who had to move from my city of birth due to high taxes. I am now faced with the task of maintaining our New Rochelle family home in hopes of keeping my 80-year-old mother-in-law, who suffers from dementia, in familiar surroundings until her time comes.Read more
I got to wondering about this yesterday and this is what NRs 2012 budget means to me.
My home is assessed at $17,000 so the city portion of my property taxes will be $3,154.01 (multiply the assessment by the new tax rate off $185.53 and then divide by 1,000 because the tax rate is per $1,000 of assessment) then add on the garbage tax of $223.00 to bring my total tax bill to $3,357.01. Now in comparison, I paid $3,042.68 last January. To calculate the percentage increase over last year, take the difference ($314.33) and divide it by the amount of tax paid last year or 10.3307%.
This example is for properties assessed at $17,000 so if your property is assessed lower; your tax % increase will be higher because the garbage tax is fixed. Likewise, if your assessment is higher than $17,000 the percentage increase will be lower, also because the garbage tax is fixed.
Let’s all give a big thanks Noam & Chuck for the gifts they’re taking from under everyone’s tree this year.Read more
The New Rochelle City Council has passed the 2012 City Budget on a 5-2 vote with Republicans Lou Trangucci and Richard St. Paul voting against the budget. The budget contains an operating budget of $108 million with a tax increase of 3.68%, the maximum allowable under the tax cap. The City is also raising the residential refuse fee from $66 per residential unit per year to $223 per unit per year (qualifying senior citizens will continue to pay $30 per unit per year).
In voting against the budget, Trangucci said he could not support what amounts to an effective tax increase of 15.06%
Mayor Noam Bramson became emotional in his remarks before voting, characterizing Trangucci's vote as dishonorable and a retreat from his responsibilities.
Marianne Sussman, at her last meeting as a Council Member after 12 years, called her vote for the budget a sad note on which to leave Council.
In the budget document, City Manager Chuck Strome explained the budget in the context of the tax cap and a dramatic decline in the assessed value of property in New Rochelle.Read more
In the December 8, 2011 issue of the Westchester Guardian
Recently Charles Strome , New Rochelle City Manager, said on WVOX that the City was making money on the Weyman Avenue (Home Depot and Costco) site. With curiosity an inquiry was made to Strome asking for these figures. The answer was that in 2010 the sales tax, property tax and "amortized land sales proceedings" totaled $5.5 million while the debt service was $2.9 million creating a excess of $2.6 million in profits. Since it is well known that Home Depot had been given a certiorari reduction in taxes a few years ago, sales tax figures were requested. Now it was learned that in l998-9 the Weyman Avenue Development generated $4 million, but it was the highest recorded amount through 2010 which was given at $3.2 million. But don't these figures generate more questions than answers?Read more