Gazette Ceases Publication: Donates Archives to LHS

In 2010, the Larchmont Gazette ceased publication. In 2011 the publishers donated all contents to the Larchmont Historical Society, which will continue to make the Gazette archives available online.

All inquiries should be addressed to the Larchmont Historical Society.

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Larchmont's Tentative Budget Would Hike Taxes 3.14%

Village of Larchmont’s tentative budget for 2010-2011, if implemented, would raise taxes 3.14%. That’s slightly higher than last year’s tentative figure of 2.44%, but still one of the lowest in recent years.

It’s not as low as Bronxville, where the Journal News reports that the tentative budget calls for no tax increase. Mamaroneck Village is close – with only a 0.35% increase. However, Tuckahoe is  at 6.7%.

Budget Ups and Downs

In Larchmont, anticipated spending would go up around 3.3% or $497,416, for a total general fund appropriation of $15,517,096. Revenues are also projected to go up: estimates are for an increase of $109,681 or 3.4%.

The total tax levy would be $11,879,128.  This translates to a tax rate of $299.75 per thousand of assessed value, up $9.12 from last year’s $290.63. An average property owner, assessed at $20,000, would pay $5,995 in taxes to the Village of Larchmont for 2010-2011. That’s an extra $182.40 over the previous bill.

Most departments would see their budgets stay relatively flat – up or down less than $10,000 when compared to last year.

There is a notable increase – from $1,100 to $26,000 – for the assessor, which Larchmont shares with the Town of Mamaroneck. This reflects the  Town’s demand that Larchmont kick in extra funds to cover costs of maintaining a Larchmont Village property roll. Most of the information is identical to that appearing in the town-wide assessment roll, and the Town would like to eliminate the separate data set for Larchmont. This year, the Larchmont Village Board opted – grudgingly – to pay an extra $25,000 rather than drop its roll.

The biggest increase is for the municipality’s bonds: up $273,311 for a total of $710,831.

There is a comparable increase of $251,999 to a total of $3,053,894 for employee benefits, which includes higher costs for retirement and health insurance. Also in this category is a new MTA commuter tax of $23,779.

The police budget is up $67,405, for a total of $3,452,401. That reflects, among other things, that the department has filled positions that had been vacant.

The fire department, in contrast, would go down by $108,016, for a total of $1,705,296. Asked to clarify, Village Treasurer Denis Brucianni said the budget includes only 15 paid positions.

Currently, there are 15 firefighters plus a paid chief. The tentative budget does not include replacement of the chief.

The board has not made a public decision on whether it will appoint a new paid chief to replace Rich Heine, who is scheduled to retire in April. One option suggested by the incoming mayor, Josh Mandell, is shared leadership between a paid captain and a volunteer deputy chief.  Since the captain is one of the 15 paid firefighters, the tentative budget would support this model.

There is also a $15,000 increase in the recreation budget, but that is offset by a $15,000 increase in revenues for tennis fees and permits. Last year there was no revenue in that line; the tennis courts were undergoing renovation.

There is a also a $24,586 decrease in the budget for refuse and garbage.

Village of Larchmont Budget History: 2003 – 2019
Year Tentative Tax
Rate Increase
Final Tax
Rate Increase
Final (General Fund) Budget Appropriation Surplus Allocated Tax Rate per Thousand
2010-2011 3.14
2009-2010 2.4% 2.4% $15,019,680 $300K $290.63
2008-2009 4.7% 5.0% $15,098,999
2007-2008 7.6% 3.9% $14,332,921 $200K $270.26
2006-2007 8.9% 4.5% $13,814,365 $190K $260.12
2005-2006 16.4% 7.7% $13,241,278 $250K $248.93
2004-2005 9.2% 8.5% $11,971,565 $275K $231.10
2003-2004 13.4% 6.5% $11,243,645 $421K $212.85

All Democrat Board Will Decide Budget

Although the budget was developed under Mayor Liz Feld, it will be voted on by the new mayor and board that begins formal operation on April 5 at the public re-organization meeting.

Mayor Feld, the board’s only Republican, appointed Mr. Mandell last year to fill a vacancy. Mr. Mandell was elected a few weeks along with Marlene Kolbert, a four-term incumbent, and Jaine Elkind Eney, a political newcomer. There were no other candidates.

The new board has until the end of the month to pass a final budget – and there are both perils and opportunities in the month to come.

Mr. Mandell warned that the Larchmont Village tax roll is not finalized until April 1. “Between now and then it’s entirely possible that certiorari settlements could be awarded that could adversely impact the expected property tax increase,” he said. “We just received two on Monday, one business day after the filing of our tentative budget. These are beyond the control of the budgeting process. ”

When one property owner receives an assessment reduction, that increases the share of the tax levy all other property owners must pay. This boosts the tax rate even if spending stays level.

On the other hand, the board could still find new ways to increase revenue or cut expenses.

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4 comments to Larchmont’s Tentative Budget Would Hike Taxes 3.14%

  • Lafayette

    3.14% tax hike in this environment? We got to try harder, think differently! I hope our new mayor will show courage and leadership. The only good news is the fire chief’s position is not funded. The police department has been hiring? The staff levels are already way above suburban standards. Who authorized that?

  • Bemused

    Depressing. They really have to start saying 0% increase and take a serious look at ways to change spending long term. Merger of services sounds more and more appealing.

  • Marcelo Delmar

    Dear Sirs,

    My income has gone down, not up. Where do these town people live? With their defined benefits pensions, secure jobs, union contracts with guaranteed raises, 9-5 jobs, they have an easy time.

    In the meantime, the rest of the town suffers the recession to maintain them while our disposable income goes down and down……

  • Keith Roach

    Nobody likes paying taxes; everybody likes services. In the recent storm, our police and fire department behaved admirably. Not everybody was working nine to five, or having an easy time.

    I have never had a bad experience with Larchmont police or fire services. Perhaps you get what you pay for.