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Trustees Authorize Tax Levy Cap Override for 2019-2020 Budget; Marvin, Underhill, and Mayer Sworn in for Two-Year Terms PDF Print Email


By Carol Bartold, Senior Reporter     

Apr. 17, 2019: Business before the Bronxville Board of Trustees at its annual meeting on April 8 included the swearing in of three members following the annual election in March and adopting a local law to authorize an override of the state-mandated two percent tax levy cap for the 2019-2020 village budget.

Bronxville Justice Court Judge George Mayer administered the oath of office to Mayor Mary Marvin for her eighth term as mayor; Robert Underhill for his eighth term as trustee; and Randolph Mayer for his second full term as trustee.


Enacted in 2012, the New York State annual property tax levy increase is capped at the lesser of two percent and the rate of inflation. In continuing to review and revise the 2019-2020 budget, which must be adopted before May 1, village officials are seeking ways to reduce costs and keep the tax levy increase within the two percent allowable for the upcoming fiscal year.


The board unanimously adopted Local Law 2-2019 to authorize an override for 2019-2020.

The trustees have authorized a tax cap override every year since the state implemented it. “We try extremely hard to stay under the cap,” Mary Marvin stated. “We may not have to use it, but we must pass an override by state law to have flexibility.”

Jim Palmer, village administrator, noted that, while certain entities, such as schools, can apply exemptions to the cap and calculate a legal levy increase greater than two percent, municipalities do not have that option. He said that some communities, in an effort to comply with the cap, have removed items from their general budgets and created fee-based services. “We don’t do that,” he emphasized. “We do everything we possibly can to minimize the impact on the community with any type of increase.

Mayor Marvin described the tax levy cap as “frankly ludicrous” in the face of an aging infrastructure because it strips away the incentive to make needed repairs and upgrades. Trustee Underhill stated that the state mandate effectively removes the village’s ability to govern locally. He added that the trustees are very aware that changes in the federal tax laws and the loss of the state and local taxes deduction have placed an added burden on village residents. “At the same time, we can’t compromise the quality of life we have. It’s a fine balancing act.”

In an effort to reduce costs, Palmer and Marvin said, the village has entered agreements with both the Village of Tuckahoe and the Town of Eastchester to pool purchases of blacktop for paving and implementation of the Swift911 emergency alert system. The village also shares parking enforcement officers on a part-time basis with area communities, as well as Justice Court judges.

“Now, more than ever, we have to do more with municipal neighbors,” Marvin said, “and we have to do more with public-private partnership to keep the numbers down.”

The trustees adjourned the public hearing on the 2019-2020 budget until such time, prior to May 1, when they meet to adopt it. A copy of the proposed budget is available on the village website.

Pictured here (from top): Mary Marvin, Robert Underhill, and Randy Mayer being sworn in.

Photos by C. Bartold


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Bronxville Overview

Bronxville Overview

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.

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