By Mary Marvin, Mayor of Bronxville
Mar. 31, 2021: Per New York State law, the Village has filed its tentative budget for fiscal year 2021-2022.
As currently proposed, the budget requires a tax rate increase of $3.516 per thousand of assessed valuation resulting in a 3.69 percent increase in real property taxes.
The budget accounts for the following variables:
-Total general fund appropriations of $18,039,174, an increase of $522,385 or 2.98% from the 2020-2021 adopted budget.
-Non-real property tax revenues of $6,111,990, an increase of $116,190 or 1.9% above last year.
-Use of $925,000 from unappropriated fund balance.
-A real estate tax levy increase of 3.6%.
-A taxable value of $3,122,000,000, down $2,042,995 from last year.
-General fund contribution of $1,443,332 to the library fund, an increase of $61,025.
-Unassigned fund balance on May 31, 2021 projected as 39% of budget inclusive of use of $925,000 for the 2021-22 fiscal year with an assumption that all of the $800,000 appropriated for the 2020-21 fiscal year is used which has yet to be determined.
As a government, we are particularly pleased that despite the impacts of the ongoing pandemic, our government provided all essential services as normal and reopened Village Hall to the public following only a brief shut down in late March and April. Even during the shutdown, our nonessential staff continued to work from home processing all needed documents including death certificates and building permits.
We were also able to complete a variety of infrastructure projects including some rehabilitation of the Pondfield Road underpass, installation of the new Police Department communications antennas, construction of new tennis courts, installation of pedestrian safety improvements at Midland Avenue and Masterton Road and continue relatively uninterrupted our inspection and repairs to our sanitary sewer system.
The reconstruction of the Department of Public Works garage miraculously has stayed on time and on budget and our Police Department has even begun to implement the recommendations of the Police Community Review Committee despite only being ratified two weeks ago. All this is due to an incredible team at Village Hall who were steadfastly supportive of their colleagues and took all necessary measures to ensure the safety and health of all those around them.
SNAPSHOT OF BUDGET DRIVERS
-Additional expense of a half salary of a new Police Officer to add to the one and a half budgeted in the last fiscal year but not acted upon due to COVID-19. This will bring our officer complement to 23 including the police chief. (This is still much lower than past forces which numbered 26). The increase in officers was in response to suggestions for more foot patrol/interaction with residents and more presence in the business district to monitor activities including illegal U-turns.
-In our $18 million budget, with the exception of the police officer addition, we remain at 65 total full-time employees, again low in comparison to governments of the past.
-$50,000 for de-escalation training for the entire police force.
-An additional $240,000 to the retirement system. This number was calculated by the state using a five-year look back which encompassed the very poor stock market numbers in the spring of last year. We expect this to rebalance positively going forward in future budgets.
-New principal and interest costs on a $13,250,000 bond issuance for capital projects. Projects included are the continuation of repairs to the sewer system and general infrastructure needs, upgrades to the Parkway Road parking lot and construction of the Department of Public Works facility. We took advantage of a 50 year low interest rate of 1.77% as the timing was perfect to borrow with rates already trending higher. This very favorable number was the result of our AAA bond rating.
-On a very positive note, our liability insurance and Workmen’s Compensation costs were less than anticipated due to very careful risk management. It has been proven that the more we spend in training for our staff in all departments, the less exposure we have in these two categories.
-Approximately $6 million is generated in the form of non-real property tax revenues, half of which comes under the heading Parking. The three categories of Parking are permits, meters and fines with each generating approximately 1/3 of the $3 million in this umbrella category.
-Revenues dropped $350,000 frankly due to the lack of the need for five day commuter parking. We continue working on developing a hybrid permit to accommodate shorter commuter hour parking needs as we know the working style of our residents is adapting and we need to be creative to accommodate lifestyle changes.
-This was down precipitously as well because of the months of business shut down as well as the loss of some spaces due to encouraging outdoor dining to keep our restaurants afloat. On the positive side, the meter usage numbers show a steady uptick as we see some light at the end of the tunnel.
-Of course with less business activity comes less meter usage resulting in fewer parking ticket fines. The monetary loss was also magnified by the months of the closure of the court system where other types of parking related fines including the scofflaws and penalty provisions could not be adjudicated.
We continue to try to seek non-property tax revenue sources as this heavy reliance on parking is not ideal and more diversification is needed
The 1% tax on Internet sales proved a lifeline for our budget as our sales tax revenue resulted in $1.3million.
Another positive trend is the number of building department permits which is truly robust at this juncture.
As a final caveat, we did not incorporate the $350,000 expected this year from the federal stimulus bill as our thought is when it arrives, we will most probably direct it to our unassigned fund balance to replenish any depleted resources. Despite some of these unprecedented vagaries in our budget calculations due to Covid, we remain at 20%percent of your Village/school tax bill.
Photo by A. Warner
Bronxville is a quaint village (one square mile) located just 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan (roughly 30 minutes on the train) and has a population of approximately 6,500. It is known as a premier community with an excellent public school (K-12) and easy access to Manhattan. Bronxville offers many amenities including an attractive business district, a hospital (Lawrence Hospital), public paddle and tennis courts, fine dining at local restaurants, two private country clubs and a community library.
While the earliest settlers of Bronxville date back to the first half of the 18th century, the history of the modern suburb of Bronxville began in 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased a farm and commissioned the architect, William A. Bates, to design a planned community of houses for well-known artists and professionals that became a thriving art colony. This community, now called Lawrence Park, is listed on the National register of Historic Places and many of the homes still have artists’ studios. A neighborhood association within Lawrence Park called “The Hilltop Association” keeps this heritage alive with art shows and other events for neighbors.
Bronxville offers many charming neighborhoods as well as a variety of living options for residents including single family homes, town houses, cooperatives and condominiums. One of the chief benefits of living in “the village” is that your children can attend the Bronxville School.
The Bronxville postal zone (10708, known as “Bronxville PO”) includes the village of Bronxville as well as the Chester Heights section of Eastchester, parts of Tuckahoe and the Lawrence Park West, Cedar Knolls, Armour Villa and Longvale sections of Yonkers. Many of these areas have their own distinct character. For instance, the Armour Villa section has many historic homes and even has its own newsletter called “The Villa Voice” which reports on neighborhood news.
Village of Bronxville Administrative Offices
Open 9:00am - 4pm excluding holidays and weekends
Bronxville Police Department
Open 24 hours
Bronxville Parking Violations
Open 9:00am - 4pm excluding holidays and weekends
Bronxville Fire Deparment