Town of Mamaroneck 2004 Budget to Increase by Over A Million Dollars

by Harriet Kline

(December 4, 2003) At a public hearing last night, Town Administrator Stephen Altieri formally presented the preliminary Town budget for 2004. Another public hearing on the budget will be held on Wednesday December 17, but barring any unforeseen circumstances, the budget will increase by $1.5 million over the 2003 fiscal year. This will result in a total budget of over $24 million and an increase in property taxes of 8.5%.

In his presentation, Altieri illustrated where the money will be coming from. As in previous years, most of the budget comes from property taxes which will rise 8.5% to produce an extra $1.2 million over last year. The Town will also be using $1.87 million in funds from its various surplus accounts, which is up slightly from the $1.83 million in surplus used last year. That leaves the Town with an estimated surplus of over $3 million.

town budget

Well over 50% of the proposed cost increase is attributable to mandated Town contributions to:

· the NY State Retirement System
· Medical insurance
· Liability insurance
· Worker’s Compensation Insurance.

Power PointAltieri’s graphical presentation made clear the realities of the budget dilemma facing Mamaroneck (and other municipalities all over the nation) – external factors outside of Town control impact the budget.

A resident's overall property tax bill funds much more than the Town budget.
According to Altieri, 54% of taxes collected by the Town go to the
Mamaroneck schools, 23% to Westchester County, and only 23% to
the Town. This 23% must pay for services such as public safety, public
works, culture and recreation, community services, government support
(administrative costs), and unallocated debt. For residents of the Villages
of Larchmont and Mamaroneck, the "Town tax" amounts to about 2% of the
total bill, but they have to pay a separate Village tax. (For a more precise breakdown, see the Gazette's Property Tax Calculator.)

“It was a very difficult budget,” said Altieri. “Those things that were driving the increase were all out of the Board’s control." The budget as presented was somewhat smaller than the tentative budget that was first unveiled in October and would have led to an even higher tax increase of 9.3 %.

"We made some line item cuts for equipment," said Altieri, "and we were able to make some reductions for liability insurance. We had anticipated a 40% increase and the actual increase was only 22%."

At Wednesday’s meeting, there were no residents in the audience to address the Board regarding the budget. At the December 17 Town Board meeting, residents will be given another opportunity for input.

Forest City Daly DEIS

The Town Board scheduled two concurrent public hearings for Tuesday, January 20 at 7 pm for public discussion of the second Draft of the Environmental Impact Statement and Zoning Petition submitted by the developer Forest City Daly. Forest City Daly has proposed building a mulit-story apartment structure on Madison Street in the Town. Copies of the DEIS are available in the Larchmont and Mamaroneck libraries, the Town Clerk’s office and the Town Administrator’s office.

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