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Falling Revenue Leads Briarcliff To Raise Taxes

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – Briarcliff Village Manager Philip Zegarelli said he’s just trying to be conservative as he proposes a 3.2 percent tax increase.

Zegarelli gave a presentation to the Village of Briarcliff Manor 's Board of Trustees on Wednesday night on the 2012-13 fiscal year budget proposal. His plan includes a spending plan cut to $14,396,330 from $14,430,154 in 2011-12. Revenue is expected to decrease even further, Zegarelli said, estimating a drop to $4,145,403 from $4,492,451 in 2011-12. With expenditures dropping $33,000 and revenue dropping $347,000, Zegarelli said it doesn’t add up.

“We’ve cut back on the actual appropriations, but we’re telling you that with other nontaxed revenue, we’re projecting a major decrease. And so consequently, the property tax has an increase,” Zegarelli said. He is projecting a property tax increase to $10.1 million from $9.8 million.

The $313,000 more in property taxes is a 3.2 percent increase. But Zegarelli said the proposal does not violate the 2 percent New York State tax cap.

“It’s not the tax rate, it’s tax warrant or appropriations,” he said. “We are under it even with the adjustment that we have to do.”

Zegarelli said a lack of revenue from sales tax and the mortgage tax helped cause the decrease in revenue for the year and could indicate another recession year.

“I would rather come to you and say, 'I’m wrong on the sales tax,' and see us get more, than to say it’s way high and gee, I’m sorry we didn’t meet the target,” Zegarelli told the board. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out there are other indicators that tell you it’s not coming, and it hasn’t turned around.”

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