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Briarcliff's Zegarelli: Recession Not Over

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – Briarcliff Manor recently passed the six-month mark in its budget cycle, and Philip Zegarelli says it’s becoming clear that “we’re not out of a recession yet.”

The village manager gave a presentation to the village’s board of trustees Wednesday night that detailed the village’s budget outlook for the year. Figures presented showed the village has spent roughly $7.8 million of its $14.5 million budget thus far into the year. While village officials estimated earning roughly $1.06 million in sales tax through the year, Zegarelli said the village has made about $252,000 through six months and it’s unlikely the number will quickly improve by the end of the year.

“Together with the mortgage tax, this is a very good indicator of where the economy is,” Zegarelli said. “And to see the sales tax lag even after we’ve cut back (on our estimations) indicates to me that this recession is not over.”

Zegarelli noted that it’s still likely the village would not exceed its budget this year.

“A lot of communities have predicted a turnaround by now but that hasn’t occurred,” Zegarelli said, adding that the December numbers were “very weak.” “We’re going to hold the line (next year). It’s not that we’re going to be in a hole, I don’t think, but I was hoping there would be a little rebound and it hasn’t showed up yet.”

It may be too early to predict what changes might be needed to meet budget requirements for next year, Zegarelli said. While there are extenuating circumstances, the New York State property tax cap limits rate hikes to 2 percent.

“We will be putting to you a budget that I believe will come under the 2 percent cap,” Zegarelli told the board Wednesday. “I want you to know ahead of time it’s tight from day one.”

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