Both New Castle and Mount Kisco will see decreases in their tax rates for the 2013 Westchester County budget, at 0.45 percent and 1.54 percent, respectively.
Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino released a municipality-by-municipality breakdown of the county's tax contributions Friday. While the recently approved county budget's tax levy is zero, differences in property value assessments from community to community create discrepencies in the amount owed within each muncipality.
According to Astorino's office, the gaps in tax rates, which are effectively each municipality's share of the levy, are because communuties do not assess their properties at the same levels of market rate. As a result, a state-provided equalization rate is used to calculate their shaires.
The tax rate is the amount of money that is owed per $1,000 of a property's assessed value. Unlike the tax levy, which is the total amount of tax revenue to be collected, increases in rates are not subject to a state-imposed cap.
White Plains will enjoy one of the biggest decreases at 6.07 percent, second in the county to Mt. Vernon, where contributions will decrease by 7.67 percent. In total, 15 communities will see their tax levy decrease next year and 10 will see an increase. The biggest increase was in the City of Rye, where contributions will increase by 7.46 percent.
The $1.7 billion county budget has a property tax levy of $548 million in 2013, the same amount as in 2012.
"The county has done its job to hold the line on our county property tax," Astorino said in a statement. "However, every year the county tax levy affects local governments differently."
The county budget, which passed 9-0 on Dec. 7 and was signed by Astorino shortly after, has been disputed by Democratic members of the Board of Legislators, who passed the chamber on the day of the vote before it passed; the cleared cleared with seven Republicans and two breakaway Democrats. The Democratic caucus contends that the meeting was adjourned and that a budget version was sent back to a committee, while legislators who backed the budget argue that lawful procedures were followed for its passage.
County taxes account for between 15 and 20 percent of the average property owner's tax bill, about 60 percent of taxes are paid to local schools and approximately 20 percent goes to local government.
Local municipalities receive their tax bills from the county in the spring and handle collection of bills, which are usually due toward the end of April. While the county hands the tax levy down to local governments, it does not determine the exact tax rate handed down to taxpayers.
Tax Contribution Changes by Community (Increases in Bold)Municipality Estimated Change City of Mt. Vernon - 7.67 percent City of New Rochelle -2.53 percent City of Peekskill -2.63 percent City of Rye +7.46 percent City of White Plains -6.07 percent City of Yonkers -3.19 percent Town of Bedford +2.51 percent Town of Cortlandt +1.60 percent Town of Eastchester -0.98 percent Town of Greenburgh +2.10 percent Town of Harrison +5.73 percent Town of Lewisboro -5.56 percent Town of Mamaroneck +5.16 percent Town of Mount Kisco -1.54 percent Town of Mount Pleasant +1.22 percent Town of New Castle -0.45 percent Town of North Castle +3.25 percent Town of North Salem +0.90 percent Town of Ossining -5.0 percent Town of Pelham -2.52 percent Town of Pound Ridge +0.83 percent Town of Rye +3.74 percent Town of Scarsdale +6.33 percent Town of Somers -3.18 percent Town of Yorktown -2.17 percent