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Briarcliff Board Works to Trim Budget

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – Village of Briarcliff Mayor William Vescio says the 2012-13 proposed budget “is going to be trimmed down.”

The Village of Briarcliff Board of Trustees met Tuesday night for a budget work session to discuss Village Manager Philip Zegarelli’s proposed 2012-13 budget. Board members went over each line item in the budget during the session and said they plan to make cuts to the already reduced proposal of $14.4 million .

“As always we’re looking to trim it down and get the best bang for the buck for the taxpayer,” Vescio said. “The last five years, we’ve been doing that consistently before they even had the 2 percent tax cap. We’ll look tonight, take out our hatchets and chainsaws and cut it down.”

Zegarelli reiterated during the work session that there are continuing signs that the village, and possibly the entire state, is not out of an economic recession. He noted Tuesday that the village is collecting less than 50 percent of what was budgeted last year for building permits. At 10 months into the 2011-12 fiscal year budget, Zegarelli said the village has collected roughly $192,000 of the expected $387,000 in revenue for building permits.

“It’s really an indicator of the economy,” Zegarelli said, restating the same about the declining revenues for the village’s mortgage tax and sales tax. “We’re not going to hit those numbers. This is reconfirming that the economy is really lagging.”

Zegarelli said village figures are continuing to show that residents are very uncertain about the economy.

“Instead of buying and selling a new house, they’ll go and redo the kitchen or the bathroom. We’re not even getting that in the volumes that we used to,” he said. “With sales tax, people don’t want to buy these things but they have to. We’re just seeing those blips. Others are viewing these figures and saying the recovery is here. It’s not.”

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