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From the Mayor: Village Budget Approved; Includes Spending for Increased Police Presence and Aging Infrastructure PDF Print Email


By Mary C. Marvin, Mayor, Village of Bronxville

Apr. 24, 2019:  After an extensive process ably led by our village treasurer, Lori Voss, and our village administrator, James Palmer, with consultation from all department heads, the trustees and I approved a budget for fiscal year 2019-2020. The entire budget is available for review on the village website,

Net-net, on a taxable assessed value of $3,169,683,425, the new tax rate per $1,000 will be 3.2831, a tax rate increase of 0.1105 over the 2018-2019 number.

The tax levy in the newly approved budget is $10,406,300, representing an increase of $385,628, translating into a levy of 3.85% (due to the way the New York State 2% tax cap is calculated, we actually stayed under the cap, negating the need for the tax cap override legislation we passed as a precautionary measure early in April).

It is extremely hard to find savings, as the major source of expense – staffing – is at a modern-day all-time low. As example, when I first got involved in village government, the police department and the public works department both had staffs of twenty-seven. They are now down to twenty. Given our numbers, the men and women who work for the village do yeoman service.

Despite tight staffing, the costs associated with government employment continue to rise totally beyond local control. The perennial cost drivers – health care and pension contribution – show no signs of a downward trend. In fact, health costs have increased by double digits consistently over the past few years. We receive no advance warning as to the potential variations, making budgeting a challenge.

In addition to these fixed costs, we have added some funding, albeit small, on the quality-of-life side. As illustration, given the changing nature of policing, much of the allotted overtime budget went to address the mail fraud syndicate, which played havoc for many village residents, rather than adding a walking patrol or augmenting speeding and crossing-the-double-yellow-line enforcement.

If one request came in loud and clear this year, it was residents’ desire to have police presence increased throughout the village. The additional funding will aid in this endeavor.

Our debt service is also relatively high due to the board’s decision to take advantage of the current interest rates, capitalizing on our Triple A bond rating, and tackle our aging infrastructure before emergencies arise and, with them, property damage and expensive repairs.

On the revenue side, we see little growth potential, save raising fees on existing services. We are now essentially built out with the completion of Villa BXV and the NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital expansion project, so building permit fees will return to the normal residential improvement numbers, and big one-shot infusions are no longer in the equation.

In what is clearly a double-edged sword for the village and our loyal merchants, additional revenue could come from the bill raising Westchester sales tax by 1%. Passed by both the New York State House and Senate and just awaiting the governor’s signature, it could add to our almost $1 million local sales tax apportionment.

It is thanks to residents making the choice to shop locally vs. online purchasing that this number is so advantageous for the village. Without this level of loyalty, taxes would have to be raised in the neighborhood of 12%.

Our savings and/or revenue opportunities are getting harder and harder to find. We are upping our efforts for federal and state grant monies that are tied to resident income levels and we are doubling our efforts to find ways to share services such as joint purchasing of supplies, road-paving materials, and equipment that is not needed on a daily basis with our neighboring communities.

We also have to at least have a serious discussion about contribution by our nonprofits to essential village services. At present, the resident living in our smallest apartment contributes more to police services, road maintenance, and street lighting than any of our major institutions.

By its nature, the budget is a fluid document and if needs arise during the year, we do have healthy reserves to tap into if need be.

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.


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Bronxville Overview

Bronxville Overview

Bronxville is a quaint village (one square mile) located just 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan (roughly 30 minutes on the train) and has a population of approximately 6,500. It is known as a premier community with an excellent public school (K-12) and easy access to Manhattan. Bronxville offers many amenities including an attractive business district, a hospital (Lawrence Hospital), public paddle and tennis courts, fine dining at local restaurants, two private country clubs and a community library.

While the earliest settlers of Bronxville date back to the first half of the 18th century, the history of the modern suburb of Bronxville began in 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased a farm and commissioned the architect, William A. Bates, to design a planned community of houses for well-known artists and professionals that became a thriving art colony. This community, now called Lawrence Park, is listed on the National register of Historic Places and many of the homes still have artists’ studios. A neighborhood association within Lawrence Park called “The Hilltop Association” keeps this heritage alive with art shows and other events for neighbors.

Bronxville offers many charming neighborhoods as well as a variety of living options for residents including single family homes, town houses, cooperatives and condominiums. One of the chief benefits of living in “the village” is that your children can attend the Bronxville School.

The Bronxville postal zone (10708, known as “Bronxville PO”) includes the village of Bronxville as well as the Chester Heights section of Eastchester, parts of Tuckahoe and the Lawrence Park West, Cedar Knolls, Armour Villa and Longvale sections of Yonkers. Many of these areas have their own distinct character. For instance, the Armour Villa section has many historic homes and even has its own newsletter called “The Villa Voice” which reports on neighborhood news.

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