Proposed 2013 Budget Goes To New Rochelle Council

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New Rochelle City Manager Charles Strome, right, and Finance Commissioner Howard Rattner present the city's proposed 2013 budget to City Council members Tuesday.
New Rochelle City Manager Charles Strome, right, and Finance Commissioner Howard Rattner present the city's proposed 2013 budget to City Council members Tuesday. Photo Credit: Justin Stock

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – The City Council will review New Rochelle’s proposed 2013 budget until the document is voted on next month.

The $153,551,034 proposed budget presented to council members Tuesday would preserve most of the city's services but would require a 5.57 percent property tax levy increase, City Manager Charles Strome and Finance Commissioner Howard Rattner said.

The proposed budget would eliminate curbside loose-leaf pickup, cut police staffing by two vacant positions and reduce firefighter staffing during certain times, especially at night, based on recommendations by the city’s Citizens Panel on Sustainable Budgets.

The city hopes to prevent a $1.5 million shortfall through property tax increases and reductions in city expenses, Strome and Rattner said.

To accomplish that, the budget calls for a real estate tax levy increase of 5.57 percent, well above the state's 2 percent tax levy cap.

The tax rate would go from $185.53 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to $198.51 next year, an increase of 6.99 percent. The owner of a home assessed at the city average of $16,000 would pay $3,176.16 in city taxes.

Strome said during a briefing Friday that the 5.57 tax levy increase equals a 6.99 percent tax rate increase because the city’s tax base decreased by $3.6 million this year.

He said the proposed tax increase for the average homeowner would be $207, or about 1 percent of the homeowner’s total tax bill. The budget notes that for a city resident living in the New Rochelle sewer district, city taxes account for 18.5 percent of the total property tax bill. School district taxes account for 63.5 percent, and county taxes make up 11.5 percent. The remainder consists of sewer taxes (3.9 percent), the library (1.5 percent) and garbage (1.1 percent).

New Rochelle fire and police officials meet with the council during the first budget workshop Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. in the council conference room.

Council members did not have any comment about the proposed budget immediately following Tuesday's presentation.

“The budget will be discussed further,” said New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson.

The council will be able make changes before adopting the budget, which goes into effect Jan. 1.

The public can comment on the proposal at a hearing Dec. 4.

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With the tax cap, this is like 3 years worth of tax increases wrapped into 1.

Thanks for the Holiday present!