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Proposed White Plains Budget Raises Tax Rate 5 Percent

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The White Plains Budget Director released Monday a proposed $152.4 million budget that would increase the property tax rate by 5 percent, raise youth bureau and park and recreation fees , and eliminate 16 unfilled positions while conforming to the property tax levy cap.

Michael Genito, city finance commissioner and budget director, said the preliminary budget met a new state requirement that limits municipalities from raising the total property tax funds collected to 2 percent by about $100,000.

Owners would be taxed $184.92 per $1,000 of their assessed property value under the proposed budget. A $2.6 million drop in the assessed value of White Plains properties accounts for approximately 1 percent of the tax rate hike.

Genito said another 2.5 percent of the increase came from a $2.9 million increase in the city’s required contributions to employee pensions.

“There is no significant mandate relief. For instance, pension costs, as we mentioned, went up $2.9 million. So the state isn’t helping us out there. State aid is at best staying the same,” said Genito.

The city has $1.15 million more in sales tax revenue to work with than last year and will no longer need to use debt as a financing source, according to Genito.

The budget wouldn’t alter the services currently provided by White Plains. The spending plan would add a new youth swimming program, basketball organization and family camp-out at Delfino Park that are expected to pay for their costs.

However, expanded programs may come with higher fees. The city may raise summer camp costs by $25 to $30, up youth tennis program fees by $5 and increase the youth bureau’s after-school connection program price by $27. Higher fees in building department and public works are anticipated, city officials said.

The preliminary budget sets aside $1.4 million to finance 2 percent salary increases in proposed settlements with the police, fire and Teamsters union, which have expired contracts. That rate matches what was previously negotiated with the Civil Service Employees Association.

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