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From the Mayor: Consolidation Plan Created by the Governor PDF Print Email

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By Mary C. Marvin, Mayor of Bronxville


Feb. 8, 2017:  It is that time of year again when mayors across New York State hold their collective breath as the proposed state budget is rolled out.

From our perspective, it, unfortunately, always appears "same old same old," as the underlying cost drivers and needed reforms are never addressed. We sadly joke that we just need to type last year's request/reform initiatives in a different font and resubmit.

Chief on our list is relief from over 200 state laws that require local funding, the need for capital improvement monies to be exempted from the tax cap as they are for school districts, relief from the stranglehold of costly regulations for public infrastructure projects and, most important, increased state aid to cover all the unfunded mandates they send our way.

However, as state aid to municipalities remains flat, and aid to school districts significantly increases, municipal aid will now be tied to a "consolidation plan" created by the governor. In essence, every county executive must put together a countywide consolidation of services plan and then subject it to the electorate for approval in November. Any local aid is then contingent on a vote in the affirmative.

The governor stated that the initiative is "proposed because local officials do not and will not work together to share services." This is patently untrue with evidence of intermunicipal collaboration at an all-time high.

The only one positive to this proposal is that it has united elected officials of every political party against the concept and its false premise.

As an overriding principle, state aid should be allocated as a responsibility to local communities to offset the costs of over 200 unfunded laws that are sent our way from Albany. It should never be tied to gubernatorial policy agendas.

Rather than picking at the lowest hanging fruit and the budgets least likely to impact one's tax bill significantly, the governor could exhibit leadership from the top and address the real cost drivers of one tax burden, including the elephant in the room, the unsustainable pension obligations.

Two scenarios are so illustrative of the problems in Albany:

We are the only state that passes the cost of federal and state social services directly to the counties through property taxes instead of paying for them with state revenues.

For Westchester, this equates to a yearly tax burden of $225 million added to your local tax bill. It's so much easier to balance a state budget when you offload obligations to someone else!

As to pension provisions and future sustainability, currently a private sector employee who retires at age 60 with 20 years of service would need to accumulate a nest egg of $1.3 million to replicate the pension benefits of a state employee of identical age and tenure, and this doesn't even factor in the generous health care plan.

It is also worth noting that aid to school districts will actually increase significantly with no corresponding consolidation plan tie-in even though, at the very least, school costs account for 60-plus percent of one's local taxes.

If one were cynical, it could be noted that locally elected officials are not a special-interest lobby; rather, they are leaders of constituents of diverse and often unorganized views and causes. Conversely, the teacher's union is a very powerful united political force that can affect one's future state and national ambitions. The consolidation plan also exempts all five boroughs of New York City.

This whole concept of "consolidation" mirrors the tax cap mantra in its seemingly political appeal and simplicity of message.

In his proposed budget rollout, Governor Cuomo targeted Westchester County in particular and its county executive and leading gubernatorial challenger Rob Astorino for our multiplicity of governments and duplication of services.

The governor cited 435 governments in our county, even including libraries, fire departments, school districts, and sewer and refuse districts as "governments." Elected officials agree that there are only 185 municipal entities and 45 actual governments. When queried, the governor's office could not document the additional 242 entities.

Regardless of numbers, there is actually no correlation between the number of governmental units and a lower tax burden. Oklahoma and New Hampshire have the most municipal entities yet rank near the bottom in state taxation. In contrast, New York and New Jersey have less "government" but higher local taxes, primarily due to the "trickle down" of state obligations to the local level.

Some of Westchester County's governments are also specially created districts to share the costs of lighting, road repair, and refuse pickup. They allocate the cost of these improvements based on a "user" fee so all beneficiaries, including tax-exempt entities, share in the costs, thus actually lowering the burden on the property taxpayers.

My colleagues and I are headed to Albany next week to voice our opposition to this state aid and consolidation tie-in proposal. The irony is that we at the local government level have been in the forefront of cost savings through consolidation of services and joint purchasing. We buy collectively blacktop, curbing, specialized sanitation equipment, and legal and phone services, and we even combine tactical SWAT teams, to name just a few of our collaborations, even though our budgets are actually the smallest drivers in your overall tax burden. 

We are now regretfully forced into an adversarial role with our executive branch instead of the much more productive collegial partnership we should have to move forward together. The mayors' guiding principle is and shall remain that the best interests of our communities will always trump personal political agendas.

 

From the Mayor: Bronxville’s Giving Garden: Newest Initiative of Village's Green Committee

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By Mary C. Marvin, Mayor, Village of Bronxville Jun. 21, 2017:  As you walk past village hall toward Route 22, you will notice two additions to village property. Closest to the street...

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Financial & Legal Services Directory

Accountants

D'Arcangelo & Co., LLP
Certified Public Accountants & Consultants

Partner
Barbara Greene, CPA,CFP

3000 Westchester Ave.
Purchase, NY 10577-2538

914-694-4600
bgreene@darcangelo.com
www.darcangelo.com


Hymes & Associates, CPA, P.C.

Our firm provides outstanding service to our clients because of our dedication to the three underlying principles of professionalism, responsiveness, and quality.

Listed as one of the 10 largest firms by The Westchester Business Journal, we serve clients throughout the tri-state area. By combining our expertise, experience, and
the energy of our staff, each client receives close, personal and professional attention.

Our high standards, service, and specialized staff spell the difference between our outstanding performance and other firms. We make sure that every client
is served by the expertise of our whole firm.

Hymes & Associates, CPA, P.C.

55 Pondfield Road

Bronxville, NY 10708

914-961-1200

914-961-1715 (Fax)

Website: www.hymescpa.com

info@hymescpa.com

Attorneys

Bertine, Hufnagel, Headley, Zeltner, Drummond & Dohn LLP

Established in 1929, Bertine, Hufnagel is "a general practice law firm, offering clients expertise in both individual and commercial matters." Their broad range of services include the following: Wills, EstatePlanning and Taxation, Probate and Estate Administration, Elder Law, Real Estate (commercial, residential, condominiums and cooperatives), Commercial Law and Transactions, Litigation and Banking Law.

700 White Plains Road
Suite 237
Scarsdale, New York 10583
(914) 472 7700
(914) 472 1946 (fax)
www.bertinehufnagel.com


Bosworth, Gray & Fuller
Wills and Probate, Real Estate, Media Law, General Litigation in all courts

J. Rockhill Gray (1920 - 2009)
David Otis Fuller, Jr.
Paul A. Clewell
116 Kraft Avenue
Bronxville, New York 10708
(Tel) 914-337-3626
(Fax) 914-337-3630
dofjr@aol.com
www.bosworthgrayandfuller.com


Griffin, Coogan, Sulzer & Horgan, P.C.

Attorneys and Counselors at Law

Located in Bronxville, New York, Griffin, Coogan, Sulzer & Horgan, P.C. takes great pride in providing our clients with comprehensive, high quality legal services in a responsive manner. The firm concentrates its practice in real estate law with a primary focus on issues relating to real estate tax litigation (also known as tax certiorari), real estate transactions, valuation law, real property taxation and tax planning and real property tax exemption matters throughout New York State.

The firm serves as general counsel for several local cooperatives and represents clients in various issues relating to wills, trusts and estate planning.

51 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, NY 10708
(914) 961-1300
info@gcshlaw.com

www.gcshlaw.com


Suzanne M. Bloomer
Wills, Trusts, Estates and Real Estate

85 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-337-0142
smbloomerattorney@msn.com


Nobile, Magarian & DiSalvo LLP

We are hardworking and dedicated attorneys who, combined, have more than 150 years of experience delivering quality legal advice. Our cutting edge is our ability to enter both the conference room and the courtroom with strength. Our law firm provides legal representation and counsel for both individual and business clients on issues related to estate planning and administration, real estate law, litigation, and business lawOur practice areas include: Commercial Litigation, Business Law, Real Estate, Wills, Estate Planning, Trusts, Estate Administration, Living Wills, Health Care Proxies, Powers of Attorney, Not For Profits, and Employment Law.

111 Kraft Avenue

Bronxville, NY 10708

914-337-6300

http://www.nmdlaw.com/


Veneruso, Curto, Schwartz & Curto, LLP

Veneruso, Curto, Schwartz & Curto is dedicated to providing businesses and individuals with exceptional legal services customized to each client's needs and objectives. Practice areas include litigation, real estate, not for profit, wills and estate planning, land use and zoning, business and corporate, cooperative and condominium and real estate tax assessment litigation.

The Hudson Valley Bank Building

35 East Grassy Sprain Road, Suite 400

Yonkers, New York 10710

914-779-1100

http://www.vcsclaw.com/


 

Peter W. Williamson
Attorney At Law
Trusts & Estates, Elder Law

141 Parkway Road
Bronxville, New York
914-337-3434 (tel)
914-337-3392 (fax)
Pwwilliamson@verizon.net

Financial Services

Aegis Capital
Full Service brokerage firm.  Stocks, bonds and mutual funds.  Specializing in tax free bonds and other income
generating investments.

Steven Ircha
26 Paxton Avenue – 2nd Floor
Bronxville, NY 10708
914-361-1099
janeircha@yahoo.com
www.aegiscap.com


Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.

You have dreams and goals, and we'll work together to help put them more within reach. As an advisor living and working in your community, I'm available to work with you in a way that meets your needs.

Michael P. Mazzilli, CFP® ChFC®

Private Wealth Advisor

111 Brook Street, 3rd Floor

Scarsdale, NY 10583

(914) 341-1482 ext. 200

www.michaelpmazzilli.com


Capital Preservation Partners, Inc.

Your Wealth Made Easier

Local Registered Investment Advisors Who Have Fiduciary Obligations To You, The Client

When you partner with CPP you join your neighbors. We are located in Westchester County, yet are ready to respond to your needs with our 70 years of combined experience. We are always available to answer your questions and concerns. Unlike giant banks and brokerage firms, you will speak to the same advisor who is thoroughly familiar with your portfolio and life circumstances.

SEC registered – Fee only planners – no commissions or hidden fees

Expert Professional Advice from our staff of qualified CFP's, CPA's & Attorney's

Offering Comprehensive Wealth Management, Estate & Financial planning

Capital Preservation Partners, Inc.

55 Pondfield Road

Bronxville, NY 10708

914-337-2272

914-961-1715 (Fax)

Website: www.cpp.bz

info@cpp.bz


James Van Metter & Associates

James W. Van Metter, CFP, MBA
Financial Planning & Investment Management
81 Pondfield Road, Suite 4
Bronxville, New York 10708

Call 914-793-1213 or JVM@JimVanMetter.com
www.JimVanMetter.com


MDIC Investment Company
Mutual Funds, Stocks & Bonds, Financial & Estate Planning, Investment & Advisory Services, Life & Health Insurance

Daniel S. Macdonald, Jr.
116 Kraft Avenue, Ste. 8
Bronxville, New York 10708
Call 914-793-4095 or call macdonald@mdicinc.com
www.mdicinc.com

Insurance

Allstate
Auto, Home, Business and Life Insurance

Exclusive Agents:
Debbie M. Stockton
George L. Petronella Jr.

108 Kraft Avenue
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-961-7200
dstockton@allstate.com

http://agent.allstate.com/DSTOCKTON2/Welcome/


John L. Vorbach Company, Inc. Insurance Brokers
Manhattan Media & Technology Center
65 Broadway, 9th Floor
New York, New York 10006
212-294-4900 x 112
cvorbach@vorbach.com
www.vorbach.com


MDIC Investment Company
Mutual Funds, Stocks & Bonds, Financial & Estate Planning, Investment & Advisory Services, Life & Health Insurance

Daniel S. Macdonald, Jr.
116 Kraft Avenue, Ste. 8
Bronxville, New York 10708
macdonald@mdicinc.com
www.mdicinc.com


Palmer-Tanno Agency, Inc.
Independent Insurance Agents since 1948

Greg Tanno
141 Parkway Road, Suite #11
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-793-6603
palmertanno@aol.com


Personal Risk Management Solutions
Focuses solely on personal insurance and
provides unique, customized solutions that save
money and time and create peace of mind.

Linda Graef Jones, Private Client Sales Executive
6 East 43rd Street
New York, New York 10017
914-645-3951
JonesL@thePRMSpromise.com

www.theprmspromise.com


Ranieri Insurance Agency
Auto, Home, Business & Life
Over 50 Years' Experience

Paul D. Ranieri, CPCU
457 Palmer Road
Yonkers, NY
914-376-2560
dcranieri@aol.com


The Rollins Agency, Inc.
Insurance and Risk Management Solutions
Since 1910
800 Westchester Ave. Suite N-311
Rye Brook, NY 10573

914-337-1833
info@rollinsinsurance.com
www.rollinsinsurance.com

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