Despite a county budget with a zero percent tax increase, residents throughout Westchester will see their county taxes increase due to the equalization rate.
Greenburgh’s share of the county tax will increase 2.10 percent, while Rye, Harrison and Mamaroneck have increases of more than 5 percent. Mount Vernon and White Plains’ taxes will decrease 7.67 percent and 6.07 percent respectively.
An equalization rate is New York state’s measure of a municipality’s level of assessment, and is determined by diving the total assessed value of a municipality by the total market value of a municipality. The equalization rate is necessary so that school taxes and county taxes are distributed equally. County taxes account for 15 to 20 percent of a homeowner’s bill.
As a result of the increase, Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner has called for a reassessment of the county’s properties, which has not been done in more than 50 years. Feiner has teamed up with Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano and are seeking funding from the state for the reassessment, which is expected to cost millions of dollars.
Feiner has criticized the county for not taking any steps toward reassessment, and has invited other towns to join in. Greenburgh’s capital budget includes funding for reassessment.
Greenburgh, like many Westchester municipalities, has been hurt by tax certioraris, where owners challenge their property tax bill. Certioraris can cost municipalities millions of dollars, particularly for large properties.