Trustee Morreale Offers Assessment of Taxes

The Board of Trustees of the Village of Mount Kisco will hold a public hearing on Monday, April 4, 2011 at 7:30 pm in Village Hall to discuss the proposed budget for the 2011/2012 fiscal year.  At the February 7, 2011 meeting of the Village Board, Trustee Morreale gave his opinion on the Village of Mount Kisco’s finances.

Mr Morreale commented that there was a $20 million budget and if “you look at a 10,000 population, we are spending about $2,000 per person, which actually when you think about it is not that expensive for all of the services you actually get for $2,000.00.”  It is a change of pace for a public official not to bother with telling residents that the government should do more with less but that they should be happy the costs are not higher.

Mr. Morreale continued that “the property taxes haven’t increased that much.” I am not sure what tax increases Mr. Morreale is analyzing. Since Mayor Cindrich was elected, the Mount Kisco property tax rate has increased by 52.44% over the last seven years on a compounded basis. During that same period, the inflation rate only increased by 18.77%. Even if Mr. Morreale was only looking at the last three years, the property tax rate increase is more than twice the inflation rate.

For full disclosure, when I was on the Village Board, I voted along as a member of the Village Board on these tax rates while doing my best to minimize them. Over the last few years, however, I was more reluctant and voted no on the last budget. It is one thing for the tax rate to increase over 50% during the term of a mayor’s tenure. It is another to increase the tax rate without providing basic safety services, such as adequate code enforcement and a full contingent of police officers.

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