Bramson’s Scheme to Over-Ride Cuomo’s Tax-Cap Will Saddle New Rochelle With Large Post-Election Tax Increase

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Bramson’s Scheme to Over-Ride Cuomo’s Tax-Cap Will Saddle New Rochelle With Large Post-Election Tax Increase

November 06, 2011 - 19:58




The Bramson Campaign is actively campaigning to stack the City Council with only Democrats.

Many voters have been contacted by the Bramson Campaign to blindly vote along Party lines this year without thought.

What the Bramson Campaign is NOT TELLING YOU is that Bramson needs you to elect a supermajority of Democrats to City Council so that they can override Governor Cuomo’s Property Tax Cap, which is protecting you, the property owner, from onerous property tax increases.

On June 30, 2011, Governor Cuomo signed into law legislation that caps your property taxes at a 2% increase. This tax cap can be overridden by a super-majority vote of council.  If the Mayor is successful, he and his disciples will override the property tax-cap in New Rochelle and raise your taxes to support his political agenda.

Bramson and his family have maxed out campaign contributions to Democratic council candidates to guarantee their loyalty and control their vote when raising your property taxes way above Cuomo’s Tax-Cap.

As of this post, Bramson is in violation of New York State Board of Election regulations because he hasn’t filed his 11-day, pre-general election campaign disclosure information. This is because Bramson doesn’t want you to see prominent names like Marc Jerome, Vice-President of Monroe College and Chairman of the New Rochelle Business Improvement District (BID) who, with his family, contributed over $25,000 dollars to ONLY DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES for various campaigns. Bramson would like you to forget that he accepted campaign contributions from New Rochelle’s INDEPENDENT AUDITORS and IDA Tax-Abated wealthy developers like Cappelli & Forest City Ratner. Bramson doesn’t want you to know that the New Rochelle Democrats paid over $225,000 to a LONG ISLAND CITY printer, Century Direct, for various campaigns including the personal attack mailers against Richard St. Paul. These mailers were investigated by the WESTCHESTER COUNTY FAIR CAMPAIGN PRACTICES COMMITTEE who ruled, “the Bramson campaign organization committed an unfair practice…”

Bramson and the Democrats are hypocrites who talk out of both sides of their mouths imploring New Rochelle taxpayers to support local businesses in order to save police, fire & sanitation while they quietly spend hundreds of thousands of dollars outside of New Rochelle and outside of Westchester County.

In this year’s elections, Mayor Bramson has chosen to use dirty campaign practices that he never considered in his 16-year political career. The fact that Bramson’s name appears on every Democratic Council candidate’s signs is evidence that the six district candidates will do what Bramson dictates if elected.

this is why Mayor Bramson wants you to blindly vote along party lines in Tuesday’s election for City Council – and quite frankly, this plan is inappropriate.

Political checks and balances in government were paramount to the Founding Fathers and is what makes us a great nation. Don’t blindly follow career politicians who are attempting to dupe you to support a spineless and controlled City Council. New Rochelle deserves better than that, New Rochelle needs an administration that is independent, transparent & accountable to the taxpayers to guide us through these uncertain times.

The New Rochelle Democrats couldn’t adhere to the Tocci Tax-Capthat added millions of dollars in sales tax revenue to New Rochelle’s coffers so how can they be expected to adhere to Governor Cuomo’s Tax-Cap?

Please vote for the candidates on City Council who will protect your financial interests by controlling property taxes – not for the candidates who underhandedly connive to use unfair campaign practices and conspire to raise your property taxes way above Governor Cuomo’s tax cap.

There are 25 Comments

As my name implies I am old and the internet is a new fangled toy to me. While I have only one or two posts and have not written a post myself, I can say that I have been reading TOTS since inception. Mr. Galleta has strong opinions and backs up those opinions with figures and documentation. I have NEVER witnessed any political figure who would consider taking Galleta on one-on-one. In fact, even Bramson, has refused to defend his bogus claims. This may sound like I am a registered republican or a member of Galleta's family but I am not. You see, anytime a citizen has the gumption to challenge a 16 year incumbent like Bramson and Bramson does not defend his position the only rational inference is that Bramson's claims are BOGUS! I salute all who put themselves out in the public for praise and ridicule and hope that these individuals will someday run for office. It is actually funny, Bramson got down in the mud with St. Paul but is afraid of Cox, EyeOn, JohnD, Galleta and TOTS. I guess that's why Bramson persuaded PATCH to come to NR now he has another entity to control.

You forgot two other news media outlets. The Journal News and News 12, they were real quick to run negative coverage of the Richard St Paul issues. History speaks for it self. I haven’t seen anything on the negative attacks and the mailers that were investigated by the WESTCHESTER COUNTY FAIR CAMPAIGN PRACTICES COMMITTEE who ruled, “The Bramson campaign organization committed an unfair practice…”. I was appalled when I saw them. I was a Noam supporter when he was a councilman. I never vote along one party line. I may go right down the entire Republican line as a protest to the dirty politics that I have seen in this race and the other problem that we are facing in New Rochelle. My family has lived in New Rochelle since the 1920’s. I have never been so disappointed in my life. Friends and family ask me what the Hell is going on. You better get out of there. I will stay and fight because that is what I believe in. I think there is still time to save New Rochelle. If everyone gets involved, speak up and don’t expect the other guy to take care of things because you don’t have the time.

Vote with your heart and your conscience not all the fluff of the political ads. BUT VOTE!

Controlled media is the hallmark of a regime gone bad. Amanda Ali, Ned Raunch and others refuse to gat to the bottom of any truth that would inconvenience the demoratic party. Even Bob Marrone has tacitly chosen to defend the mayors dirty tricks on air today. I may not agree with the tactic of misleading mailers, but to purposely hide the source of the mailer is disgusting. I applaud those who choose to see the truth.

This is only half of the story. A 5-2 super majority would allow Mayor Bramson to issue additional debt without a citywide vote. This would greenlight Bramson to issue $25 million of debt to move the City yard and pave the way for another, residential only, tax abated development. The new bonding would increase the City's debt load by 35%. Taxpayers would see a huge tax rise as a result. Additionally, an Echo Bay residential project would likely require the New Rochelle School District to build a new school in order to educate the hundreds of new children a project on this scale would bring into the city. This would only increase pressure on the school budget and push property taxes even higher.

Danger of uncontrollable tax hikes. Anthony's posting cannot be overstated regarding what WILL happen if Bramson gets his way. Truthfully, has any resident had any influence on the budget, or has the council and mayor established what your fair share will be? Republicans, for all the complaining some folks may have about them, HAVE, in fact, managed to reduce the last 4 budget increases by half. There will be no, repeat, no backstop or resistance to double digit tax hikes to push along a failed economic policy. The typical resident will have no redress to unfair policy if those annointed by Bramson become in charge. Bramson accepted THOUSANDS of dollars from the Echo Bay Developer just before Forest City was named to be the developer(doesn't this seem just a little strange to anyone?).
No wonder he votes down the republican motion to nix campaign money contributions from parties wanting to develop New Rochelle.

Aren't there any printing shops that could have benefitted from $225,000 in printing business? READ Anthony's post again. The egregious behavior will ultimately develop New Rochelle, to the betterment of the special interest money, not for the New Rochelle resident. YOU WILL be saddled with paying the cost of further IDA tax abatements because YOU will have no-one representing you. A democratic supermajority will represent only their own narrow agenda. Again the mayor et al shot down any discussion of letting the council have input into IDA decisuion ( to provide accountability for the mayorial agenda minions)or a fair representation of the city by allowing members fron different districts onto the IDA. Do you understand how closed out the average taxpayer is? The American system of checks and balances will be crushed. I've seen honest people lament how their neighborhood seems to be forgotten, left behind so to speak,for years and years, yet they will blindly vote party line with nothing ever changing.
Don't even get started on the bonding free for all. Right off the bat, next year you'll see a $35 million bond to move the city yard (to a property the city bought from a friend of the family without any fair appraisal), a place that in retrospect can't properly support the function of a full city yard, soooo we'll need to buy another piece of property.
You may think it can't be anything like the reports but you cannot dispute the facts as they are presented. Special interest money, patronage, Democratic Party , connection with social groups like the Casa Calabria and Domenic Procopio (civil service "commissioner" ), Greenr/ICLEI Agenda 21 and it's disassembly of common land rights, GUILTY of unfair campaign practice, it goes on like a chapter out of Boss Tweed and Tamany Hall

Read on brother, read on.

It's a sad state of affairs when the American citizen is "locked out" of the fair and open platform of discussion that shapes our right to self determination.

Stand up and say Enough is Enough !

or start practicing your chorus of "Hail to the Thief" as you dig deeper into your wallet.

Nice work Mr. Galletta. Now we know why the Mayor shares signs with the candidates for Council. The NY Times recently reported on local governments trying to get around the tax cap. This is a very real concern for all of us, since the Mayor will need to raise revenue to support the cost of moving the City Yard to make room for Echo Bay. A shameful plot - thank you for exposing it.


The Mayor and the Democrats have decided their business should go to Long Island City instead of spending the $200,000 right here in New Rochelle. Won't you help those whom the Mayor has shunned for a "better Deal"? Click HERE to see a list of LOCAL printers. Support New Rochelle, not special interest.

Hold on to your wallets because the previous commenters hit on a very astute observation. Moving the city yard and it's unintended consequences will push the city debt to the point of no return . Desperate to have something to show for his work in New Rochelle , the Mayor will push the yard move through regardless of what you or i may have to say . 25mm dollars was a number thrown out 4 years ago . That doesn't include what will be done to provide a place to store all the leaves collected in the fall that are now being stored at the current new yard location . All involved agree the leaf collection and the DPW operations cannot operate at this location together . The actual number for the yard is closer to 30 million , couple that with alternative properties and you're pushing 35 million . That's nothing when , after the Echo Bay disaster is built , the resulting strain on the schools will dictate a new school somewhere . But where ? Does anyone realize what a monumental task both in tax dollars and logistics this will cost ? 35 million will seem like peanuts . Your school budget will skyrocket not just with the building but with the extras -teachers , janitors , service personnell etc . I would venture the North End will benefit from the new school much more than the South End , as usual . All as a payback to the mindless council robots doing the Mayors bidding .

Plus, you can see the writing on the wall for Main Street . Nobody wants it . That's why there's been no plausible attempt to revive it . History being history , the area will be pushed into blight . Granted it may take 20 years , but in the meantime , downtown will become the wild west . I feel bad for those who live around there . That's the reason for the push for the North Ave corridor . This will become the "new" main street . Cleaner , newer , it's got city hall and a real college on it . A much better representation for New Rochelle . The downtown will be left to fend for itself as the showcase inner city of New Rochelle .
To the kool aid drinking voters who would vote party rather than someone who would truly represent YOU I'll say thanks . I'll be on welfare , living in a subsidized apartment in one of the Avalons , so you can support me as well as the Mayor .

I saw a bumper sticker the other day that read " Why am I in this basket and where are we going ?" So true .

The Bramson administration is so inept they couldn't move the city yard if they wanted to. Yes, with a super majority vote, Bramson could bond for the funds but the city yard on Beechwood hinges on an easement with New York State to allow city vehicles to be parked under I-95. The City has been negotiating the easement for years but their negotiation skills leave a lot to be desired so there is no agreement in place. This is the same administration that wants a super majority to give Echo Bay away to Forest City Ratner another Bramson campaign donor. All I can say is think long and hard before casting your vote tomorrow New Rochelle.

The most telling line in this post is:

the WESTCHESTER COUNTY FAIR CAMPAIGN PRACTICES COMMITTEE ruled, “the Bramson campaign organization committed an unfair practice…”

It is an unfair practice and it is a CAMPAIGN ORGANIZATION which is undermining the taxpayers of New Rochelle. The democratic candidates have no individual identity thus the Bramson tag on every political sign. Like all organizations the CEO makes the decisions right or wrong and the underlings blindly follow. This is what New Rochelle has been reduced to. It's time to remove the blindfolds and move to a brighter future, one that's independent, transparent and responsive to constituent service.

We're screwed. Bramson should be a dictator in some foriegn country. He is slime.

As you watch the Mayorial debate, the mayor admits that property taxes are at a crisis level. Why do you think that is? How will a tax loving, abatement approving, organization handle this? Of course, taxes are avoidable, it's a matter of how high will they go. Vote for someone who will lobby for the taxpayer, instead of special interest and a self serving agenda.

And yet he has absolutely no plans to deal with it & so I think Anthony is right on with this story about overriding Gov. Cuomo's tax cap.

But how can that be? I really don't understand why Bramson doesn't release the budget now, before the election. What's the secret?

There's a hidden agenda here somewhere that I think we're all about to pay for and that's why we all need to support the Republican slate for city council more than ever.

John I have been calling Bramson Boss Tweed for years now. He has scheduled his government to be deal after deal while pretending its open government. It's as close to Boss Tweed as any in the modern era. I wonder why this is not evident to those charged with investigating coruption. The most blatant aspect is how he fashioned New Rochelle's IDA to only have those with his agenda. Inclusive of Council Member Sussman and Chuck Strome. Having had the opportunity to discuss this with Albany you can be sure that the Comptroller and the ABO office is looking at every move they make. Cappelli counld not get a stick of gum from New Rochelle's IDA going forward. Andrew Cuomo ignored it due to political reasons but the Comptroller was compelled to sanction the IDA of New Rochelle. They are now unable to give away anything without scutiny. The IDA of New Rochelle is done. Not a single tax incentive will go to a private project ever again unless its so obvious in favor of the Tax payer. You can call it Citizens Lobbying Albany. Now if we can pick up 1 or two council seats we can Neuter the little pencil neck mayor. I hope it happens. If we get 5 and 6 along with 2 others the Bramson Era will go away even with him as Mayor. That will be a ceremony worth having.

Wow! This is a well written piece & 1000% accurate.

Others (like Noam & any Democratic) may try to convince you otherwise, but this sums it up as nicely as it can be put.

The information here and the scheming plan of Bramson could not be more obvious. It would enable an anti-democratic "council" to basically have carte-blanche, defacto rule over a city that has struggled in both lean and the present economic state.

Unfortunately what can one do? This site is essentially a sounding board of the political minority in New Rochelle. And furthermore, the Republican candidate for mayor (rightfully or wrongfully so) has been basically turned into a politically impotent challenger. He has little money and limited support from the GOP.

Richard's only hope is to appeal to the African-American minority in the city and make a last minute push to rally that voting block in an Obama like fashion. His levity on council would be a grand accolade as head of the city. And lord knows we need change. Is it to late to launch a last minute come back, reminiscent of Eli Manning in Foxboro yesterday? Where oh where is that Political Vaigra that St. Paul and New Rochelle so desperately needs?

I have only gathered preliminary information on this event, but as many as four victims have been robbed at gun point in or around Feeny Park. Will the mayor chalk this up to another isolated incident, or is it time to make a real attempt at fiscal management to being the PD and other emergency services back to an operable level??

To clarify, it's a TAX LEVY CAP which limits tax levy growth. It is not a cap on budget expenditures and not a cap on tax rate. Tax cap curbs tax growth but does not address expenditure growth. Too many people are ignorant of the facts surrounding the complicated new tax cap law and thus mislead and in turn misleading others. Failing to override the tax cap would be a mistake. There is a bigger picture here and the one who is smart enough to recognize that will get my vote. Nobody wants to pay more taxes, but someone has to have the guts to take actions that aren't necessarily popular in the instant, though given time result in what is most beneficial.

All i have figure out is the 2% tax cap comes out to 4%

So that squarely falls on Bramson as our leader & mayor to take action & I've seen nothing over the last 4 years to indicate that he's got what it takes.

You are correct as to it being a tax levy cap, but the short version is commonly refered to as a tax cap. Overridding becomes a danger when it's used to serve a narrow or self serving agenda. Do we overide it by 4% - 8% - 12%, and for what reasons are the questions to be asked. Police on the street is completely different from laying out money to serve the ICLEI and it's insidious controls of common property rights. Remember, nobody really owns their property, it beolngs to the collective "we" comrade. Overall, one could argue the pro's/cons of the cap, and that's a good thing, but when it's coupled with a bond at will council mentality things start to get verry expensive without the taxpayer benefitting from it all. Special interest developers, paying off favors to those owed, all will reap the benefits as the taxpayer subsidizes the costs. Sure maybe in 39 to 40 years there "might" be a benefit to the taxpayer, but without clawback or guarantees, it's tantamount to venture capital with taxpayer money. Let the special interests and developers use "their" capital to gamble in New Rochelle. If they're so sure of the project then what's the problem.

For more on the "tax Cap" read HERE

You are correct and the current administration has increased expenditures which raises the tax levy. They hire a sustainability coordinator, employ a communications person and connive to get past council member benefits who didn't qualify in terms of service. They should go to a public safety commissioner and eliminate either police or fire commissioner. But fear not, they have begun out-sourching services. Emergency snow removal is currently under bidding while the chosen contractors of choice, who are also campaign donors, have been given the inside track. They intend to layoff civil service employees and privatize city services. This should come as a shock to no-one since Bramson proposed privatization of garbage pickup 12-years ago. Don't be fooled and don't give anyone the opportunity to say I told you so after the fact. Vote based on past performance and where the 20-year democratic administrations have led us. If you're happy and better off today continue the path of major development without infrastructure upgrade. If you're happy with the wind tunnels downtown created by the skyscrapers continue the path. But if you believe NR has veered of the path and a correction is needed vote with your head, not your heart or party. All I can say is VOTE!

I favor privatization of garbage collection. I could care less who picks it up or where it goes so long as it goes.

With a private hauler, you'd probably start to see 1 man trucks where we currently have 3 men trucks and the workers won't get state pensions which are out of control and are exempt from the tax cap. If city hall can't find efficiency then private industry can, but city hall has a very corrupt feel and I wouldn't want our new garbage collection system to get caught up in a corruption scandal. That could be a very real possibility in New Rochelle.

Your other suggestions are excellent; I especially like consolidating the Police & Fire Commissioners to 1 Public Safety Commissioner idea. The city could also eliminate or drastically curtail the Harbor Unit that costs money to operate too.

This should all come to a head in a week or 2 when the mayor finds that he doesn't have the votes to override the tax cap for next years budget & will be forced to make cuts now. Unfortunately, Bramson has choosen not to release next years budget until after the election which seems rather underhanded to me as I'd really like to know now before I vote.

while I have posted separately on this topic I want to speculate upon what will happen in 2012 based on prior actions. If I am correct these are unacceptable and you must act responsibly as citizens and supporters of your community and neighbors.

I fear the administration will attempt to lay off first providers. This is highly unacceptable; actually unnecessary. We already run a risk on firefighters being undermanned; the fine young firefighter, who I know personally and who is a credit to the City, was severely burned in a recent fire. A fully manned, well equipped station house, might made differnce. We need all the protection from predators we can get. If you have a modicum of knowledge about how things are down south, you would understand this. Living in the relatively safe and sylvan north end distorts your image of what is actually happening here.

If any first provider is being held hostage to a failure to override a tax cap, I want to say we have many alternative options. Food, shelter, safety, these are basic individual and community needs and no council or mayor has the right to strip us of these. My wife was recently accosted near the train station, I was about to be set upon by 3 people in a car, but someone in the car recognized me and said, "leave him be, its Mr. G. It both rhymed and saved me or maybe even them from harm.


1. dismiss all deputy commissioners, department heads until the crisis breaks.

2. cut mayor and council salaries to conform to the duties and responsibilities clearly laid out in Article X of the City Code.

3. ask the city to accept a surcharge of so much money until the budget process can be made right and that includes building a revenue base.

4. stop any and all funding for intermediate or longer term initiatives until the crisis passes.

5. give chuck strome some help in budget prioritization and review. He should have outside council voices on this at the minimum.

6.Ask Doc Kiernan to serve on a voluntary capacity as a Safety Director (similar to Chong in White Plains). Give Doc carte blanche to work with county officials, other municipalities etc. in working out some coverage plan that will protect the community in the event these suggestions are ignored. In any event Andrew Cuomo is likely not to frown so much on New Rochelle if we undertake some integrative move such as shared resources with other communities and Kiernan is the man for this.

Enough of this separation within the City. Haven't heard from many up north. Do you care or not? Speak up!