TMany of us found our 2017 assessments in the mail today. On average, they increased some 4% from the Tyler revaluation released earlier this year. What does this mean for Edgemont?
First, for Edgemont’s school district and fire districts, it means nothing. While the aggregate assessments rose, the tax rate will accordingly adjust downward, resulting in the same total community tax levy that would have been paid absent assessment. That’s straightforward enough.
The town unincorporated budget (about $78M, $56M from property taxes) is worthy of a deeper dive, particularly in the context of incorporation. Recently, opponents of incorporation have implored residents to read the 2005 EVEC study. We agree that reviewing the history of incorporation research in Edgemont is generally important; however, tax and market changes over the past 12 years must be understood.
When EVEC was written, Edgemont raised $7.7 million (22%) of the town’s unincorporated tax levy of $35 million. What has happened since then? A true double-whammy: the town’s tax levy has increased to $56 million, and Edgemont’s share of that burden has increased to over 26%, or nearly $15 million.
In other words, Edgemont is now generating nearly double the amount of tax revenue raised in 2005. But our number of parcels is still only about 2,500, just 17% of the number of properties in the unincorporated area. If this trend continues over the next 10 years, Edgemont’s steady population could be funding close to 30% of the unincorporated budget.
Our town taxes have nearly doubled since EVEC. Have services improved? Leaf pickup and front/side yard garbage pickup have been eliminated. How about governance? The Town has been sued on multiple occasions, including Fortress Bible, which resulted in a $6.5 million settlement on which will be paying through 2024. What’s the state of our infrastructure? Look no further than AFV Pool, which has an $11 million bill coming due for which no funds have been set aside. (To say nothing about the comprehensive plan.)
Edgemont is funding an increasingly large share of the Town’s ever-expanding budget. The incremental tax revenue generated by Edgemont is even more than the amount forecasted in the EIC financial feasibility report from January and with Greenburgh, we see no end to this trend in sight.