Thursday, January 30, 2014


Welcome to Everything Croton, a collection of all things Croton--our history, our homes, our issues, our businesses, our schools--in short, EVERYTHING CROTON.

THE FOLLOWING LETTER FROM RESIDENT JOEL GINGOLD APPEARS IN THE 1/30-2/5/14 EDITION OF THE GAZETTE. It is re-printed here with permission. Additional important background information links follow his letter.

To the Editor,

Governor Cuomo has proposed freezing property taxes through tax rebates, estimated at about $350 per household, for residents of municipalities, school districts, etc. that keep tax levy increases within the property tax cap, 1.6% for 2014.  This will be difficult to achieve in most communities, but especially so in Croton.

Through its intended acquisition of the Gouveia property, the Village Board will throw away over $40,000 in annual tax revenue ($15K for the village. $25K for the school district).  In order to get under the tax cap, and qualify Crotonites for the rebate, these funds will have to be made up elsewhere or services cut appropriately.  I suspect that this will be particularly problematic for the School Board who played no role in this misguided project.

The Board further intends to spend $3 million of taxpayers’ money for the Croton Point Avenue (CPA) “improvements” for which no one on the Board has been able to provide a credible and consistent justification.  Of the total, $1.3 million will come from new bonds that will have to be amortized by village taxpayers over the next twenty years.  Depending on whether you believe the Mayor or former Trustee Raskob, that debt service will be $120,000 or $70,000 per year, in either case, a substantial amount.  Again, new revenues or service reductions will be necessary to stay under the cap and ensure the rebates for our residents.

In addition, in his self-congratulatory “State of the Village” letter, the Mayor noted that “many of our major buildings are in need of serious and significant repairs.”  This sounds very much like hundreds of thousands or even millions of additional dollars spent in the relatively near term.  And these are projects that are necessary and probably can’t be deferred for too long.

So how then does the Board propose to spend all of this money, stay under the tax cap, maintain village services and ensure that our citizens get their property tax rebates?  Perhaps they can once again raise the fees for those village residents who have the audacity to demand the right to park in the village’s lot, depriving the more deserving out-of-towners from using those spots (for which they will pay higher fees).

Or maybe, just maybe, fiscal sanity will return to Croton and the Gouveia and CPA projects will be terminated, saving substantial amounts for the taxpayers, ensuring a continued high level of village services, making it far easier to meet the cap limits and preserving the rebates for our overtaxed citizens.

To this end, there are now three new faces on the Board.  Trustee Davis has already demonstrated his concern over the tax burden on our residents by voting no on Gouveia.  One hopes he will make a similar analysis on CPA and conclude that it, too, should be abandoned.

We have not yet heard from Trustees Levitt and Slippen on these critical issues.  Again, we can hope that they will demonstrate the integrity, intelligence, and independence to oppose these ill-conceived initiatives and, with Trustee Davis,  form a majority that represents the true feelings of the citizens of Croton.

Sincerely,  Joel Gingold


  1. Thank you Mr. Gingold and to the Gazette for printing it. Unfortunately that paper is becoming less and less about the village and more about the surrounding areas. I liked it much better when the paper were divided up into specirfic papers for specific areas. Much more of what was happening in the village got covered in articles, now everything it seems has to be done in letters. Thanks too to Everything Croton for keeping us all so informed without the drama of other sites. Paul

  2. This is so going to happen. Oh they'll find a way to wrap it up in a pretty package and a bow but in the end we will all pay and pay and pay. I can't wait till we move.