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Ossining Town Budget Shows Decrease in Taxes

OSSINING, N.Y. – Residents of the Town of Ossining will pay slightly less in town taxes in 2012, according to a tentative budget.

The budget, which is available in summary form on the Town of Ossining's website , shows that town residents who live within the Village of Ossining will have a 0.07 percent decrease in taxes, and residents of the "town outside" the village will have a 0.02 percent decrease in taxes.

"I am delighted to be able to offer a budget on behalf of the Town of Ossining that shows a tax decrease for all taxpayers in the Town of Ossining," town Supervisor Catherine Borgia said in a written statement. "These tax decreases have been achieved through careful fiscal control by the town managers, innovative practices to craft government services, and cost-cutting measures taken by every town employee."

The total proposed budget for the town within the village is $5,292,022, and the total proposed budget for the town outside is $5,879, 394. The tax rate per thousand dollars of assessed value is $10.91 for the town within the village, and $98.08 for the town outside.

The average residential tax for the town within the village is $253.92 according to the tentative 2012 budget, which is a $2.80 decrease from 2011. For the town outside, the average residential tax is $2,051.06, a $41.22 decrease from 2011.

Town Councilman Peter Tripodi was not impressed by the town's decrease in taxes for the second year in a row.

"I would say it's a budget that takes Ossining's problems and kicks it down the road," Tripodi said. "There are some short-term savings in places like Dale Cemetery, but everyone in Dale Cemetery is getting a huge raise. And nothing's been discussed with the police station. (The county police) is still not paying rent, and that's something for the future board to worry about."

Tripodi noted that the town's court consolidation resulted in $406,000 in new spending.

"What (Borgia) did to stop that $406,000 from creating a tax increase was she cut $406,000. But if we never consolidated our courts, we could've cut $406,000 and had a real tax decrease," he said.

Tripodi also said that there were some faulty revenue projections in the estimate of police impound fees and the cost of county police services.

"These so-called tax decreases are not going to take effect because there's not enough revenue coming in to cover them," Tripodi said.

Other town council members were more complimentary of the 2012 budget.

"A tax decrease is what we're trying for, and so far we've been pretty successful without a lot of rancor," said Councilman Geoff Harter. "It's going to be very tight, but I think we'll come through."

Eric Blaha, who will start his term as a newly-elected councilman in January, said he thinks it is "remarkable" to have tax decreases for two years in a row given the current economic environment.

"This is based on good management practices as far as I'm concerned, and I would want to maintain these practices," he said.

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