RYE BROOK, N.Y. – If the Town of Rye was dissolved and restructured into individual town-village governments, residents in Rye Brook, Port Chester and the Rye Neck section of Mamaroneck possibly would see an average yearly savings of $25 on property taxes, according to a draft report by the Center for Governmental Research.
Joe Stefco of the research organization said of all the municipal studies the group has conducted in New York, “this is hands down, bar none the most complex.”
The organization created a draft final report that explores options and impacts involved in dissolving the town of Rye, which consists of the villages of Port Chester, Rye Brook and the Rye Neck portion of Mamaroneck.
The report is the culmination of a study process that began in 2010 when officials in the town and the three villages collaborated to analyze the feasibility of dissolving the town in order to eliminate an administrative layer of local government and generate tax relief.
It presents a restructuring alternative that would result in the dissolution of the Town of Rye, to be replaced by new town-village governments in Port Chester, Rye Brook and Mamaroneck. Each village’s boundaries would remain the same and all village service delivery infrastructure and governments would remain the same.
However, Rye Neck would have to be shifted completely into the town of Mamaroneck. The village of Rye Brook would have to create its own court services. There would be no impact to the school districts.
The report recommends liquidating Rye Town assets and distributing liabilities, including the town’s approximately $1.1 million debt. Currently, the town collects property taxes. This tax would be eliminated in the event of a restructuring under the assumption each village has its own revenue stream. Each village would need to provide for collection of municipal, county and school taxes previously collected by the town.
An elimination of the Town of Rye property tax would yield an average annual savings of $25 on a property assessed at $500,000, according to the report. Port Chester residents would see a yearly savings of $52 on a property assessed at $500,000. It would cost the owner of a property assessed at $500,000 in Rye Brook $22 more per year, and the owner of a property assessed at $500,000 in Rye Neck would save $72 annually.
Rye’s Town’s real property assets, such as Town Hall at 10 Pearl St., would be sold and capital assets, like vehicles and office equipment, would be disposed of in a dissolution. The town-controlled Rye Town Park and Crawford Park, bridges and other properties would be divided according to location within the new villages.
One-time benefits from disposing certain town assets and properties are valued at $1.42 million in Port Chester, $1.44 million in Rye Brook and $800,000 in Rye Neck.
Gary Zuckerman, a resident of Rye Brook, said at the forum he was disturbed by the handling of Rye Neck.
“There’s an assumption that the village of Mamaroneck will become a town village and I think that’s a difficult assumption to make,” said Zuckerman, suggesting the Rye Neck section of Mamaroneck instead act as an independent successor to the town.
The full draft report, “A Review of Governance and Service Alternatives for the Town of Rye and Villages of Port Chester, Rye Brook and Mamaroneck,” is available at the project website at www.cgr.org/ryetown and copies are available at Rye Town Hall and Village Halls in Port Chester, Rye Brook and Mamaroneck. The report also is available on the respective municipalities’ websites.
There will be public meetings in each municipality in the near future to gain more feedback from residents.