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Peekskill Budget Plan $120,000 Over Tax Cap

Even with $570,000 in exceptions, the Peekskill Common Council must still find additional cuts in Acting City Manager Brian Havranek's budget proposal in order to stay under the state tax cap.

An additional $120,000 must be shaved from the Peekskill acting city manager's $35.6 million budget proposal for it to fall under the state's property tax cap, officials announced during Monday’s common council workshop.

Although state law mandates that municipalities and school districts must cap their tax levy increase at 2 percent, the city has exemptions that allow it to increase the tax levy by a little more than 5 percent.

The 2013 spending plan submitted by Brian Havranek, the acting city manager, would increase the tax levy by $837,972, or about 6 percent, to $14,804,248. Charles Emberger, the city comptroller, said the tax levy needs to be closer to 5.1 to 5.2 percent in order to come in under the cap.

“To stay under the cap, we need [a tax levy] $14,678,000,” Emberger said.

Havranek's proposal would cut 31 full-time employees, or 14 percent of the workforce, for a savings of about $2.9 million. Of those 31 positions, seven are currently vacant. Another 9 part-time positions would be cut, for a savings of about $164,349. 

Emberger said the city has one exception of $213,000 because it did not use the maximum increase it allowed under the tax cap in this year’s budget. The city also has another exception of $255,000 for state retirement payments.

Overall, the city has about $570,000 in total exceptions.

The council will pass a resolution during next Tuesday’s board meeting authorizing it to hold a public hearing on a tax cap override on Nov. 26, which is the same night the  council plans to present its adjustments to Havranek’s budget. The council needs a supermajority in order to override the tax cap.

Emberger said the council can choose to hold the public hearing anytime before the Dec. 1 deadline the council has to approve a budget.

Foster wondered if it made sense for the council to schedule a public hearing, since it has already committed to staying within the cap and people may get confused by the process.

Councilwoman Marybeth McGowan said it wouldn’t hurt to have a public hearing on the tax cap, but she agreed that the council needed to stay within the state's mandated property tax increase.

Dutch November 08, 2012 at 10:44 PM
There has to be away to cut the wasted spending. Why does the city hire outside landscaping companies to plant flowers along Broad Street near the firehouse??
hunter for life November 09, 2012 at 12:33 AM
have to agree with you I seen last week that a private landscaper was blowing the leaves and cleaning up in front of the Peeksill Library . I dont know is this landscapers doin this for free ?
Dutch November 09, 2012 at 12:42 AM
I highly doubt that it's being done for free. I guess this is how they are going to supplement the DPW department when they cut positions. I believe we are being lied to. Alot of what transpires is hidden.
peekskillman November 09, 2012 at 12:53 AM
this is what happens when you are friends with the mayor and make donations to the political fund. manzers landscaping has been doing this for years. i agree why do we need hundreds of flowers along Broad and Brown in the islands anyway?
Dutch November 09, 2012 at 12:56 AM
"Foster wondered if it made sense for the council to schedule a public hearing, since it has already committed to staying within the cap and people may get confused by the process." Does she really think we are all stupid. I bet my last tax dollar that they will most definately go with a 5 percent increase...so they can plant more flowers!
leesther brown November 09, 2012 at 01:28 AM
There should be a "Forensic" audit of the City......
hunter for life November 09, 2012 at 02:29 AM
@ Lester Brown now your talking i think that woud be a good idea !! it would be nice to see , what she has hidden or stolen from the taxpayers !!!!!!!! Omg when is she goin to leave ?????//????????? She should be ashamed of herself to call her self the mayor !!!!!!!
hunter for life November 09, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Once again i have to agree NOthin is done for free !!!!!!!! Maybe she sould give up her salary TO save a job .
leesther brown November 09, 2012 at 05:23 AM
@hunter..that's Leesther...I watched the Nov 5th COW meeting in it's entirety and I couldn't believe what I was hearing/ watching!..OMgoodness.....#we'reindeepdoodoo...
Patty Villanova November 09, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Things are no better up here in Put Valley, in fact they are much, much worse because unlike the good people of Peekskill, nobody here gives a damn what happens. There are no local newspapers or blogs & I have never seen such apathy. The corrupto-crats of both parties endorsed the same person for a vacant town board seat, allowing no opposition. The guy "elected" is a long time "volunteer" fireman whose only qualilfication is that he will vote for a new firehouse. By the way- it's the same guy as the one who's working on yours (Mitchell). Our TB voted to go over the cap and they gave themselves raises, gave the firemen nearly a million $$ for their slush fund and generally increased the size & scope of town govt. It is truly the dark ages now & we have a permanent Supervisor who makes Mary Foster look like fairy godmother. The people of Peekskill should be proud that there is such a vocal public forum, that citizens of all political persuasions speak their minds at meetings & in the press. I really wish that Patch would include PV in their coverage of local news. The town really is like a part of Peekskill/Cortlandt and has been forever. For many years we didn't have a high school and we had the choice of sending our kids to those schools; sadly, a HS was eventually built that quadrupled our taxes and took away our right to choose where to educate our children.
ED HICKEY November 09, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Peekskill is LONG overdue for the above mentioned audit; in my opinion, the city is long overdue for a fullscale investigation which, if at all possible, should include "retro" criminal activity to identify the longstanding corruption and fraud. Has anyone heard if the 1% real estate tax levied on residents for the alleged, and ill-advised "super" firehouse fund has resurfaced? From what I'm being told, all of that money cannot be accounted for. I'll not get into the "rainy day" millions misused on sunny days. Lastly, @ Patty ... yes mam! Put Valley/County, along with Dutchess County can make one's hair on their neck stand up when the realization of how their respective political corruption flies under any radar. But, staying on topic with my beloved Peekskill, I believe it's time (long overdue) that a watchdog/investigative entity be present and involved for/in every and any activity. And let's get moving on the RFP to get our beautiful and historical Paramount opened AND generating income for the city
Cremlock Dregs November 09, 2012 at 03:34 PM
If they want to cut some additional fat, they can start with a couple of the fatties on the council. But seriously folks... Hey, does anyone know what's going on with Don Bennett? He hasn't been at the meetings recently. "Death to all those who whimper and cry."
sayitsnotsojack November 09, 2012 at 04:58 PM
5% city, school another 3%, country another few %, and if you are not part of the 47% Lord only knows what the federal and state tax increases will be. This all adds up to huge increases and where is a non super rich person going to pay for all this "you have to keep my job, and youth programs" mentality? I am going broke fast, and can only hope that I may qualify for some of the handouts. Presently I get NOTHING and that includes most of the services that people are yelling about. Fire house is first to go, than sell the houses the city has purchased to build the useless thing, next only cops and fire are kept most of the rest must go, and while your at it health plans must be paid for by the employees, not the small token sums they are now.
REAL FACTS November 19, 2012 at 07:37 PM
What raises did the town board give themselves? I read the budget and don't know where you get this stuff from. People would probably take you more serious if you didn't outright lie about things. Why didn't you run for that vacant seat? Answer, you wanted the very people you falsely accuse and trash to pay for your campaign and run around getting signatures for your petitions. Big surprise when they told you to go scratch. As for the firehouse that according to you should already have been half way built, it's dead, no talk about it for over a year. Nobody talks about it, but you. You really shouldn't be blogging on this site, unless it's been recharacterized as science fiction. Maybe you should channel your energy into something constructive, people still suffering after the storm, roll up your sleeves and help others, you'll be surprised, you might actually feel better about yourself.

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