The following letter was published in last week’s issue of the Gazette.
Croton-on-Hudson is a village that has been built on a tax base of individual home ownership.
The historic economic advantage of this lifestyle has been eroded by negative growth in middle class income over the past 20 years and outrageous growth in property taxes. Adding to this dynamic we now have a federal tax structure designed to punish us.
Our individual home property taxes are a function of the sales value of our house. For those of us who live in condominiums our taxes are based on the the rental value of the unit. These differences in valuation methodology have condominium owners paying a fraction of the taxes individual home owners pay.
For example, in the 1950s a pool was built on my property which Increased its property tax. There are condominiums in Half Moon Bay that pay property taxes that are equal the property taxes I pay just for my pool.
I’m not complaining about my taxes, I understand that my combined property taxes fundamentally pay for the administration of our municipal government and local schools. The per pupil cost of our excellent local school system exceeds $29,000 per year.
My gravest concern is that my local municipal government leadership has a myopic view of their role in sustaining the value of individual home ownerships in our village. They are desperate in their attempt to close their municipal spending gap on the highest taxed properties in the United States of America.
They think the Gateway initiative (a study examining the possibility of amending village zoning to encourage new multi-family development along commercially zoned sections of Maple Street and North and South Riverside avenues) is the solution. The reality is it would increase the school tax burden on the vast majority of individual homeowners and not resolve the issues inherent in our municipal government’s out-of-control spending.
Please study and return the public survey that has been mailed to Croton residents. It doesn’t ask for your vision of our village but directs you to affirm their intention to give us high density housing. Please speak up.