As Greenburgh continues to shift more and more of the tax burden in unincorporated Greenburgh to Edgemont, new estimates show that Edgemont’s share of town taxes will likely increase 15% between 2016, when Edgemont taxpayers paid the Town a total of $13 million for municipal services, to an estimated $15 million in 2018.
These estimates are based on (1) the Town’s tentative assessment roll released June 1, 2017 which showed Edgemont’s total share of assessed value in unincorporated Greenburgh rose from 23.9% as of July 1, 2014, to 26% as of July 1, 2015, to 26.3% as of July 1, 2016; and (2) the Town’s ever climbing tax levy for incorporated Greenburgh, which was $54.5 million in 2016, then rose 2.5% in 2017 to $56 million, and is now conservatively estimated by the Edgemont Incorporation Committee to jump another 1.7% in 2018 to $57 million.
The Town’s tax assessment roll is usually published on June 1 of every year and is supposed to reflect estimated individual property values as of July 1 the prior year. Thus, the tentative assessment roll published June 1, 2017 reflects estimated property values as of July 1, 2016.
To make matters worse, if the Town continues to increase spending for unincorporated Greenburgh at the pace it did this year, Edgemont residents can be expected to pay the Town even more than the $15 million currently projected for 2018.
In essence, the 0.3% increase this year in Edgemont’s share of the unincorporated area tax levy means that, if it persists at that level every year for the next ten years, Edgemont’s share will climb from 26.3% to 29.3%. And if the Town’s tax levy increased at the same 2.5% pace it increased this year, Edgemont’s share of Town taxes will increase exponentially – unless and until Edgemont incorporates, elects its own village government, and comes up with its own plan to control spending.
The Town has no plan in place to control spending in unincorporated Greenburgh, which is why the tax levy for unincorporated Greenburgh has climbed from $37.4 million in 2006 to $56 million in 2017 and will continue to climb with Edgemont’s share of that tax burden, which was only 22.5% in 2006, continuing to climb as well.
The huge increase in Town spending in unincorporated Greenburgh has, of course, increased Town property taxes in the portion of unincorporated Greenburgh outside of Edgemont, but because of the continuing shift of the tax burden from those areas to Edgemont, the increase there has not been as much as it might otherwise have been.
As a result of the increase in Edgemont’s share from 26% as of July 1, 2015 to 26.3% as of July 1, 2016, and because of the anticipated increase in the tax levy, the amount of additional tax revenue that Edgemont taxpayers will have to fork over to the Town amounts to around $450,000.
That additional $450,000 is money that the Edgemont Incorporation Committee did not anticipate it would have in its financial feasibility study for the Village of Edgemont, and is enough to cover annual debt service on millions of dollars in potential capital improvements for Edgemont, should an elected village government wish to pursue such projects.
The amount Edgemont is expected to pay the Town in taxes as its share of the tax levy for unincorporated Greenburgh is a closely watched figure because it serves as the baseline for the amount of revenue Edgemont will be collecting in property tax revenue in 2018 should Edgemont vote to incorporate as a village.
Thus, the more money that Edgemont taxpayers are required to pay to the Town as their share of the tax levy for unincorporated Greenburgh, the more money that Edgemont will have to spend as a village should it incorporate.
The amount of the tax levy for unincorporated Greenburgh is expected to increase substantially over the next few years should the Town follow through on its plan, announced in 2010, to replace the pools at Veteran Park at a cost estimated to exceed $11 million. The Town’s original plan in 2010 was to replace the pools within 5-6 years. At its most recent meeting, the Town Board agreed to retain an engineering firm to draw up plans for replacing the Veteran Park pools.