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New Rochelle's Mayor Bramson Discusses Low Property Taxes

New Rochelle's effective tax rate ranks 40th of 42 among mid-sized cities in New York.
New Rochelle's effective tax rate ranks 40th of 42 among mid-sized cities in New York. Photo Credit: Flickr user 401(K) 2013

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson recently discussed the property taxes of New Rochelle compared to other New York cities.

Property taxes are too high – there’s no doubt about that. But is this primarily a result of local decision-making or does it result instead from regional and state-wide factors?

Bramson said one way to sort it out is to compare New Rochelle's budget and tax statistics with those of other cities in the area.

The Empire Center has set up a nice portal, using data from the New York State Comptroller’s Office, which lets you run cross-community comparisons by just about every fiscal metric, he said.

How do New Rochelle residents stack up? By several measures, pretty well, Bramson said.

New Rochelle’s effective property tax rate – meaning property taxes as a share of market value – ranks 11 out of 12 in the mid-Hudson region. That’s lower than every other city, except Rye, which is really more like a village. Looking at all 42 mid-sized cities in New York State, New Rochelle’s effective tax rate ranks 40th – among the very lowest.

New Rochelle also compares very favorably when it comes to debt and spending, despite receiving one of the lowest levels of unrestricted state aid per capita in New York, Bramson said.

"You can check it out for yourself. Play with different data sets, and make your own judgment," he said.

There certainly are areas where New Rochelle needs to improve, Bramson said. Again, nobody is saying local taxes are low in absolute terms — this is only a comparative standard; but the numbers do demonstrate the relative efficiency of the city government and make clear our commitment to respecting taxpayers, he said.

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