Taxing Times – A Look at Three Villages Budgets & Indebtedness

The numbers for percentage increases in Irvington’s, Tarrytown’s and Sleepy Hollow’s budgets have been released.  For the sake of an “apples to apples” comparison only the “General Fund” budgets will be given. The “Water Funds” will not be listed.

The approved budget for Sleepy Hollow in 2010/2011 is $13,006,800, which will lead to a 1.99% increase in taxes for its taxpayers. Although the village has an overall indebtedness of $19,351,000, the number of taxable units within Sleepy Hollow remains unclear. Despite this, taxpayers are responsible for paying $1,906,546 annually toward the interest and principal of the debt. Lenders offering loan for people with a bad credit score may find it challenging to secure a loan to cover their tax obligations.

[inset side=right]A simple comparison reveals Tarrytown with the largest budget and total debt.[/inset]Tarrytown taxpayers will see a 2.88% increase in the Village’s $20,095,903 approved budget for 2010/2011. The total indebtedness of the Village as of May 31, 2010 is $40,237,020. The principal and interest annually on that debt service will be $3,541,856. The number of taxable units within Tarrytown are 3,177. According to a 2000 Census the population of the Village was 11,090.

In Irvington, an increase of 3.88% has been approved along with a budget of $14,835,662. The Village’s overall indebtedness is $12,127,135 with an annual budget service (principal and interest) of $1,868,649. The number of taxable units are 1,907 and the 2000 Census listed Irvington’s population as 6,631.

As for services and personnel, Sleepy Hollow has left two Department of Public Works projects vacant. They have also cut back on “some recreation programs.” Salary increases have been reduced to 2%.  The dollar amount of fines has been increased as a means of generating more income.

Tarrytown has eliminated one position at the Department of Public Works which came as a result of attrition. No programs or services have been cut. The Village has, however, eliminated all summer part-time staff with the exception of Parks and Recreation. According to  the Village Administrator, there was a “significant decrease in assessables which impacted the budget by $405,000.” The Village also froze any discretionary expenditures at last year’s level.

In Irvington, sidewalk maintenance to include snow removal and grass cutting will no longer be performed by the Village. It will be the responsibility of adjacent property owners. At the Police Department both detective and youth bureau time will be reduced in favor of putting those officers back on patrol to reduce overtime expenses.

There have been numerous recreation and parks cutbacks including a 5% reduction in the Department’s budget. Two Department of Public Works positions have been eliminated through attrition.

A simple comparison reveals Tarrytown with the largest budget and total debt. Compared to its neighbors north and south, Tarrytown has not cut back on any programs nor reduced the dollar percentages of any departments. An in-depth look at Tarrytown’s budget and those of Sleepy Hollow and Irvington are available to the public.

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About the Author: Robert Bonvento