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Tentative Larchmont Budget Raises Tax Rate 1.36%

LARCHMONT, N.Y. – Larchmont residents will see a 1.36 percent increase in their tax rate, based on the tentative 2012-13 budget filed by Mayor Josh Mandell and the Board of Trustees.

The tax rate per $1,000 of assessed valuation is $308.08. Homeowners with an average assessed valuation of $17,100 would pay $5,268.17, said Daniel Whittemore, village assessor.

Mandell noted that all figures are based on current assessment rolls, which are open until April 1 and could still change.

The tax rate, Mandell pointed out, is not what is capped at a 2 percent increase by the New York state law enacted in June 2011. What is capped is the tax levy – the total amount of property taxes collected from the community.

Under the 2 percent tax cap, exemptions to pay for such things as tax certioraris, debt service and state-mandated benefits could lower or raise the allowable tax levy growth. For Larchmont, the allowable tax levy growth is 3.46 percent for fiscal year 2012-13. But this budget would increase the levy by 0.87 percent.

"This 0.87 percent tax increase involves no gimmicks, no smoke, no mirrors, no games," Mandell said. "In fact, we are applying no fund balance whatsoever."

Retirement pension payments increased by 24 percent, and certiorari refunds – tax grievances awarded – increased by 33 percent, neither of which affected the tax levy cap.

The total tax levy increased $103,594 from $11,973,935 in 2011-12 to $12,077,529 in 2012-13. That was to make up for nontax revenues dropping by $180,000. The village's expenses also fell $77,000.

Adjusting for tax certioraris and Small Claims Assessment Reviews, the assessed valuation dropped $193,532, or 0.49 percent, from $39,396,553 to $39,203,021.

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