Assessor

Assessor Fernando Gonzalez, IAO

Assessor: Fernando Gonzalez, IAO
Phone: (914) 762-8274
Fax: (914) 762-8634
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Address:
Assessor, Town of Ossining
16 Croton Avenue, 3rd Floor
Ossining, NY 10562

Hours:  8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday.
Property Record Cards can be found on the MMRC Property Search webpage. 

folder Publications Archive for the Office of the Assessor

pdf Download - Ossining Assessment Roll 2019 FINAL (10.22 MB)

pdf Download Income & Expense Form for Commercial Properties (94 KB)

pdf Download - Property Sales List April 2020 (98 KB)

pdf Neighborhood Delineation - Town of Ossining (1015 KB)

pdf Neighborhood Delineation Charts 2017 - Town of Ossining (84 KB)

pdf Frequently Asked Questions about Revaluation - June 2017 (97 KB)

Building Dept Property Info

GIS Tax Map & Property Information

pdf Revaluation Impact Notice Information (84 KB) - March 15th, 2016

 


The office of the assessor is charged with valuing all property in the Town of Ossining (the unincorporated area and the Villages of Ossining and Briarcliff Manor) for the purpose of apportioning property taxes. The total amount of taxes is determined by municipal and school budgets. Assessments only determine the share of that total that each property owner must pay.

Section 305 of the New York State Property Tax Law requires that all assessments within our town to be at a uniform (the same) percentage of value. Starting with the 2016 assessment roll, on completion of the current revaluation project, all property will henceforth be assessed at 100% of its current market value.

The total assessed value of town property on the 2014 final assessment roll was $309,371,829. Dividing this figure by the equalization rate of 5.95% applying to that roll, the total market value of this property becomes $5,199,526,538. The taxable value figures (for town purposes) were $259,625,739 and $4,363,457,798 respectively. The difference is the value of property wholly or partially exempt from property taxes – for our town about 16.08%. The assessment roll is used to levy county, town, school, village and special district (ambulance, solid waste, sewer, refuse, light, fire and water) taxes.

Most residential property - primarily single-family homes - is valued based on recent arm’s length sales. Income-producing property such as apartment houses and shopping centers is usually valued based on the income generated to the owner. Complex parcels for which there are very few sales – a utility generating plant for example – are valued based on the depreciated replacement cost: what it would cost to build the plant less the loss of value due to age and wear. Condominiums are a special case. Statute requires that they be assessed as income-producing property even though there are always many available arm’s length sales of these units. The result is that they are assessed and taxed at about one half of what would be the case if their assessments were based on market value

The assessor’s office also administers a multitude of real property exemptions mandated by state law – a total of 8,685 on the 2014 roll to be exact. Homeowners may receive the STAR, veterans and elderly exemptions to name a few. Certain properties such as those used for religious, educational or government purposes are wholly exempt from the real property tax. Exemptions will be discussed in more detail further on.

There are a number of statutory dates of which property owners should be aware. Whenever a statutory date falls on a weekend or holiday the next business day becomes the statutory date. These are dates that apply in the Town of Ossining (including both villages). Different dates may apply in towns and cities elsewhere in the state.

Taxable Status Date: May 1 – All exemption applications must be received on or before this date. The assessor values property as to its physical condition on this date.

Tentative Roll Date: June 1 - The assessor publishes the tentative roll on this date and makes it available for all property owners to examine. After this date, the assessor may not make any changes to the roll except as ordered by the Board of Assessment Review (BAR), a Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR) hearing officer or a court order.

Grievance Day: The third Tuesdayin June – all grievances (to be discussed below) must be received. A grievance filed after this date will not be considered by the BAR.

Valuation Date: July 1 – Property must be valued for the following year’s assessment roll as of this date. Not to be confused with taxable status date. If a property owner adds a deck on March 1, it will be valued by the assessor for the tentative roll. But the value will be its value on July 1 of the previous year.

Final Roll Date: September 15 - The final assessment roll, incorporating BAR changes, is published and available for inspection.

30 Days after the filing of the final roll: Generally the deadline for filing SCAR or Article 7 (a court proceeding usually used by commercial properties) applications. But, there are exceptions. You should inquire about the exact date because a late filing is usually a fatal defect.

Take note that in Ossining, current year tax bills are based on assessments appearing on the final roll (unless changed by SCAR or court order) of the preceding year.

Grievance Procedures

Every property owner has a right to contest his or her assessment. You may contact the assessor at any time, preferably by a letter setting forth the reasons why you feel that your assessment should be reduced. If you are dissatisfied with your assessment as it appears on the tentative assessment roll you may file for a hearing before the Board of Assessment Review on or before (but no later than) the third Tuesday in June. You may not seek further remedies if you do not first file with the BAR. You may or may not appear in person before the board as you see fit, but you must file a complaint form mandated by ORPTS.

Form: http://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/current_forms/orpts/rp524_fill_in.pdf

Instructions: http://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/publications/orpts/grievancebooklet.pdf

Matters such as your ability to pay your taxes or the extent to which you use the facilities and services paid for by your taxes (“I have never had any children in the public schools.”) may seem important to you, but they are entirely irrelevant in the grievance process. The assessor may consider only the fair market value of your property. The burden of proof rests with the property owner and you must try to show that the assessor’s estimate of the value of your property is incorrect. A recent purchase price, recent sales of similar properties or an appraisal would all be appropriate evidence.

You will be notified of the decision of the BAR no later than September 15th. If you are not satisfied with that decision and are the owner of an owner-occupied one, two or three-family house, you may file for Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR).   The standard of evidence is the same as that before the BAR and you do not need an attorney. Your grievance will be heard by a SCAR hearing officer and his or her decision is final. The filing form and instructions may be found at: http://www.nycourts.gov/litigants/scar/

Owners of complex commercial or industrial properties must file for a court hearing under Article 7 of the New York State Real Property Tax Law, also known as a “certiorari”. Discussion of this procedure is beyond the scope of this document but you will definitely need an attorney familiar with Article 7 and you will probably need an appraisal which, for the type of property which uses this remedy, can be expensive. Homeowners may file for certiorari in lieu of SCAR, but very few do.

Exemptions

New York State law authorizes literally hundreds of real property tax exemptions.   Most are mandatory but some may be implemented at the option of the local taxing jurisdiction. A discussion of three of the most common exemptions for homeowners follows. If you feel that property that you own maybe eligible for an exemption contact the assessor’s office.

STAR – The School Tax Relief exemption (RPTL-425) is available to all home owners (including condominiums and co-ops) who actually reside on the property and whose incomes do not exceed $500,000 per year. The enhanced STAR exemption is available to homeowners if at least one of the owners (husband & wife or siblings) is 65 year of age or older. The income limit of all of the owners for this exemption is changed every year and appears on the application form. These exemptions apply only to school taxes.

ELDERLY - The elderly exemption (RPTL 467) is available at the 50% level to senior citizens whose income does not exceed $29,000. The percentage of exemption decreases by 5% increments as income increases and owners with income of $37,400 and more are ineligible for this exemption. These limits may change from time to time   As is the case with enhanced STAR, the income of all of the owners must be considered and at least one of the owners must be at least 65 years of age. The elderly exemption, however, applies to all property taxes: county, town village and school (but not to special districts).

VETERANS - There are three different veterans’ exemptions. If you have served on full-time active duty (but not active duty solely for reserve training) in the U.S. military since December 7th, 1941, you are almost certainly entitled to one or more of these exemptions. The assessor’s office will need to see a copy of your DD-214 discharge form in order to determine your eligibility.  

The eligible funds exemption (RPTL 458) applies primarily to WWII and Korean War veterans and the amount of exemption is determined by certain funds received from the government that were used to purchase a home. It is applicable to town and village taxes but no new eligible funds exemptions may be accepted for Westchester County taxes. It does not apply to school taxes. The Alternative Veterans’ Exemption (RPTL 458-a) has been adopted by Westchester County and both the Ossining and Briarcliff Manor School Districts but not by the town or either village. To be eligible for this exemption the veteran must have served during a “time of war” whose dates are defined by statute. Veterans who served on active duty but not during a time of war are eligible for the Cold War Veterans’ Exemption (RPTL-458-b). This exemption is awarded by the town, the Village of Ossining and Westchester County but not by the Village of Briarcliff Manor.

All exemption application forms and instructions listed by Real Property Tax Law (RPTL) number may be accessed at the following ORPTS web site: http://www.tax.ny.gov/forms/orpts/exemption.htm

Town GIS Site

The Town of Ossining GIS may be accessed at http://www.caigisonline.com/OssiningNY/ Parcels may be accessed by street address, owner name or tax map number. The site provides a map of the area of the selected parcel, a photograph of any buildings thereon and, in the case of most homes, an inventory listing key features of the building.

New York State Office of Real Property Tax Services

This site displays a wealth of information about almost every subject related to assessment and real property tax administration. It may be accessed at http://www.tax.ny.gov/research/property/

Justice Court

Benjamin L.F. Leavitt, Justice
Michael L. Tawil, Justice
Mark Reisman, Justice

Court Clerks: Ann Carroll Malone, Maria Carbone

86 Spring Street
Ossining, NY 10562
phone (914) 762-8562
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Ossining Town Court will be closed on Monday, February 17 for Presidents Day.  We will be closed on Tuesday, February 18 for mandatory court training.  We will reopen on Wednesday, February 19 at 8:30am.  Doors will open at 9am.  Thank you!

The Justice Court of the Town of Ossining has limited jurisdiction over Civil Actions and unlimited jurisdiction over Summary Proceedings (i.e. eviction of tenants and claims for rent incidental thereto) occurring within the Town, including its Unincorporated Area, the Village of Ossining, and that part of the Village of Briarcliff Manor (approximately 85% thereof) located within the Town of Ossining.

The Court has limited jurisdiction over felony criminal cases and unlimited jurisdiction of criminal and vehicle and traffic misdemeanors, violations, and infractions occurring within the Town of Ossining except for the Village of Briarcliff Manor.

pdf Request for Public Access to Ossining Town Court Records (253 KB)

Please visit the Traffic Violations Bureau for information on traffic and parking...

Court Hours and Schedules:

The office hours are Monday-Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm.
The walk-up window is open Monday-Friday 9:30 am - 3:30 pm.

Criminal Calendar: Tuesdays at 9:00 am.
Municipal Code Violations: Tuesdays at 2:00 pm.
Civil Cases and Summary Proceedings: Thursdays at 6:30 pm.
Vehicle and Traffic Calendar: Thursdays at 7:00 pm.
Small Claims Cases: the 1st & 3rd Monday of each month at 6:30 pm.
Parking Violations Calendar: 2nd Thursday of the month, and 1st & 3rd Monday of the month at 7:00 pm.

 

Civil Jurisdiction:

Civil Cases:
The Town Court has jurisdiction over actions and proceedings for the recovery of money or property, provided that:

  • the plaintiff lives or works in Ossining, and the defendant lives or works in Westchester County, or
  • the defendant lives or works in Ossining, regardless of plaintiff's residence, and
  • the amount sought to be recovered does not exceed $3,000, with the exception of landlord/tenant matters where the monetary jurisdiction is unlimited.

Frequently Asked Questions for Civil Cases: http://www.nycourts.gov/courts/townandvillage/faqs.shtml

Small Claims:
Small Claims are informal Court proceedings to recover money only for an amount not to exceed $3,000.00, provided that:

  • the action is filed in the jurisdiction where the defendant lives, works or, has a place of business, and
  • the plaintiff is an individual or sole proprietor over the age of 18 years.

pdf Download the Small Claims Application for Ossining Town Court (177 KB)

pdf Download the Small Claims Application - Spanish (95 KB)

For more detailed information on commencing a Small Claims proceeding, please consult the Small Claims Guide prepared by the New York State Unified Court System.
http://courts.state.ny.us/courts/townandvillage/pdfs/SmallClaimsHandbook.pdf

Frequently Asked Questions for Small Claims Actions: http://www.nycourts.gov/courts/townandvillage/faqs.shtml

Landlord/Tenant Proceedings:
The Town Court has jurisdiction over landlord/tenant proceedings for non-payment of rent, evictions, holdovers, and to compel repairs.  The monetary jurisdiction is unlimited.

Frequently Asked Questions for Landlord/Tenant Proceedings: http://www.nycourts.gov/courts/townandvillage/faqs.shtml

 

Criminal Jurisdiction:

Criminal Cases:
The Town Court has arraignment and preliminary jurisdiction over all felony criminal cases and full jurisdiction over all cases involving misdemeanors, violations and infractions. The Office of the Westchester County District Attorney prosecutes all criminal cases.

Frequently Asked Questions for Criminal Cases: http://www.nycourts.gov/courts/townandvillage/faqs.shtml

Criminal Justice System Handbook: http://www.nycourts.gov/litigants/crimjusticesyshandbk.shtml

Family Offense Proceedings:
The Town Court has concurrent jurisdiction with Family Court over certain offenses committed between members of the same family or household (related by blood or marriage, former spouses or a common child) such as disorderly conduct, harassment, menacing, reckless endangerment and assault. The Office of the Westchester County District Attorney prosecutes family offenses.

Code Violations:
The Town Court has jurisdiction over various environmental/conservation violations, parking violations and violations of the Town General Code and the Village of Ossining General Code. The Deputy Town Attorney and the Deputy Village Attorney prosecute these cases.

Town of Ossining General Code: http://www.ecode360.com/OS0797

Village of Ossining General Code: http://www.ecode360.com/OS1500

Vehicle and Traffic Cases:
The Town Court has jurisdiction over vehicle and traffic cases charging the commission of a traffic infraction occurring in the unincorporated portion of the Town and in the Village of Ossining. Information regarding how to proceed with a traffic ticket may be found on the back of the ticket issued to the motorist. It is the obligation of the motorist to respond to the ticket. A guilty plea will result in a fine letter which will instruct the defendant on the procedure and amount of payment. A plea of not guilty will result in the scheduling of a trial. You will be notified of the trial date by mail. You must appear in Court on the date scheduled. Vehicle and traffic cases are prosecuted by the Deputy Town Attorney and the Deputy Village Attorney.

Frequently Asked Questions for Vehicle and Traffic Cases: http://www.nycourts.gov/courts/townandvillage/faqs.shtml

 

Wedding Ceremonies:

Town Justices are authorized to perform wedding ceremonies throughout New York State. While a standard civil ceremony can be performed, the couple may make changes to the ceremony to fit their wishes. If you are interested in having a Town Justice perform a wedding, please email the Justice Court at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the date and time you would like a ceremony performed.

 

Filing Fees:

[Filing fees are set forth in Uniform Justice Court Act §1911]

Civil Cases:
Filing of first paper         $20
Demand for Jury Trial     $10
Notice of Appeal             $5

Small Claims:
[Uniform Justice Court Act §1803(a)]
Claims of $1,000 or less           $10
Claims of more than $1,000      $15

Fines:
The amount of the fine is generally left to the discretion of the Judge with certain parameters set by statute or ordinance.

Payments:
The Town Court does not accept personal checks. Payments for filing fees are to be made by cash, money order, certified or bank check, or attorney's check. All payments are made payable to: "Town of Ossining Justice Court."

Payments are accepted at the walk-up window Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Motorists can pay their tickets by cash (exact change required), money order, or credit card. Credit card payments will incur an additional 2.99% surcharge.


NEW YORK STATE COURT HELP

Going to Court?
Find the Help You Need to Represent Yourself in NY Courts
www.nycourthelp.gov

The Court Help website can help you when you don’t have a lawyer

  • Find court forms and DIY Forms
  • Locate court addresses and Help Centers
  • Learn about foreclosures, custody, divorce, name changes, cases for money, child support, criminal cases, appeals, going to court, and more

 

Resources and Online Help

Town of Ossining General Code: http://www.ecode360.com/OS0797

Village of Ossining General Code: http://www.ecode360.com/OS1500

Glossary of Common Legal Terms: http://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/GoingToCourt/glossary.shtml

pdf Download the Small Claims Application for Ossining Town Court (177 KB)

pdf Download the Small Claims Application - Spanish (95 KB)

Small Claims proceeding, please consult the Small Claims Guide prepared by the New York State Unified Court System.
http://nycourts.gov/courthelp//pdfs/SmallClaimsHandbook.pdf

Small Claims Actions: http://www.nycourts.gov/courts/townandvillage/faqs.shtml

Landlord/Tenant Proceedings: http://www.nycourts.gov/courts/townandvillage/faqs.shtml

Landlords Looking to Commence Actions: https://www.nycourts.gov/courts/6jd/townvillage/HoldSummProc.pdf

Criminal Cases: http://www.nycourts.gov/courts/townandvillage/faqs.shtml

Criminal Justice System Handbook: http://www.nycourts.gov/litigants/crimjusticesyshandbk.shtml

Vehicle and Traffic Cases: http://www.nycourts.gov/courts/townandvillage/faqs.shtml

 

Receiver of Taxes

Alert on Real Property Tax Payment Due April 30 - Learn more about reduction of penalties for late payments, and elimination of penalties for late payment for those who meet criteria for economic hardship, through July 15, 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic ( pdf click here for Town-County Property Tax Relief 2020 (735 KB) -- pdf Download Hardship Certification Form here (729 KB) ).
Receiver of Taxes Holly Perlowitz

Holly Perlowitz, Receiver of Taxes

16 Croton Avenue
Ossining, NY 10562
(914) 762-8790
fax (914) 762-0635

Click here to look up the amount due on the Town's website.

Tax Payments can be made online here, by mail, or at the Office of the Receiver of Taxes, 16 Croton Avenue, Ossining, New York, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Call (914) 762-8790 if you are a new homeowner and/or need a copy of your bill.

Would you like to receive e-mail reminders for important tax deadlines?
Tax Reminders & Alerts -- Signup Here!
Sign up for e-mail reminders for your Town/County and School tax bills and receive notices of important deadlines so you won't miss a tax bill!
Pay Your Taxes Online!
Pay Your Ossining Municipal & School Taxes Online at Xpress-pay.com

The Office of Receiver of Taxes collects yearly school, town, and county taxes and enforces the collection of delinquent taxes. Residents may contact the office to inquire about tax rates as well as taxes owed and paid.

TownCounty Prop Tax Relief 2020 chart

pdf Property Tax Relief - Modification of Penalties for Late Payment of Town/County Taxes Due April 30, 2020 - Guidance for Determination of Taxpayer Economic Hardship (735 KB)

Request For Mailing of Duplicate Tax Bills or Statements of Unpaid Taxes to a Third Party

Dates to Remember:
January 31: Second half school taxes due without penalty
April 30: Town and county taxes (one installment) are due without penalty
September 30: First half school taxes due without penalty
Office Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday

Paying by Mail:

  • If mailing a tax payment a few days prior to the due date, make certain that you witness a timely official United States postmark being affixed to the envelope. Postage meter (i.e. Pitney Bowes) and foreign postmarks are not acceptable. An envelope, containing payment of local taxes, without an U.S. Postmark date is deemed paid on the date received. (NYS Real Property Tax Law, section 924a) 
  • Effective Jan 1, 2003, new legislation now allows us to accept FedEx, UPS, DHL, and Airborne as timely deliveries if postmarked by the last day of the collection period. (NYS Real Property Tax Law, section 925)
  • Please include your telephone number on your check in case the Tax office needs to reach you. 

Delinquent Taxes:

  • Properties with taxes remaining unpaid after 21 months of the tax levy will go into In Rem Foreclosure. 
  • Current taxes must be paid prior to any earlier taxes owed on all Properties that are in the delinquent stage and are in the process of enforcement. (NYS Real Property Tax Law, section 1112) 

New Homeowners:

  • If you are a new homeowner or have changed banks or lending institutions make sure that your tax bills are paid in a timely manner either by yourself or your lending institution. 
  • If you are submitting tax payments directly to the Town and have not received a tax bill at least one month prior to the payment due date, you should contact the Tax office. 
  • If you buy property after the September payment date for the first half school tax, but prior to the January 31 payment date for the second half, you must contact the Tax Office to determine the tax amount due. Second half payments received after January 31 are subject to a 10% penalty. 
  • The failure to receive a Tax Bill shall in no way affect the validity of the taxes or interest prescribed by law with respect thereto. (NYS Real Property Law, section 922)

 

Town Of Ossining - Town and County Tax Rates:

The Town/County bill represents Town General and Westchester County taxes for residents of the Town of Ossining. Tax bills for residents of the Unincorporated Area, who do not pay taxes to either Village, also include a Town Unincorporated tax and special district taxes for water, sewer, refuse, lighting, and fire protection.

folder Document archive of Town Tax Rates and Levie for Fiscal Years from 2005 to present.

 

Town Of Ossining - School Tax Rates:

The Towns in Westchester County are fiscal agents for the collection of school taxes. Budgets are prepared and adopted by public referendum, and are not the function of the Town Government. Veteran's Exemptions do not apply to school taxes.

School Taxes (first installment) are due September 30 without penalty.
Second Installment school taxes may be paid any time until January 31 without penalty.

folder Document archive of School Tax Levies for Fiscal Years from 2006-07 to present.

All inquiries concerning budget matters or expenditures should be directed to:

Ossining Board of Education
400 Executive Blvd
Ossining, NY 10562
(914) 941-7700
Briarcliff Manor Board of Education
Ingham Road
Briarcliff, NY 10510
(914) 941-8880

 

Schedule of Penalties:
School Tax Payments:
Month First Half Second Half
September none none
October 2% none
November 5% none
December - January 7% none
February - March 10% 10%
April 12% 12%
May 1 - Date of Foreclosure* 1% per month on unpaid delinquent tax
(12% per annum)
Town Tax Payments:
Month Penalty
May 2%
June - July 5%
August - September 7%
October - December 10%
January - April 12%
May 1 - Date of Foreclosure* 1% per month on unpaid delinquent tax
(12% per annum)

*The Date of Foreclusure is usually 21 months after the tax levy (September 1 for school taxes and April 1 for town/county taxes).

 

Helpful Information:

Request For Mailing of Duplicate Tax Bills or Statements of Unpaid Taxes to a Third Party

Click here for latest Consolidated Rate Sheets here...

A handy tool for Realtors and Appraisors. With this chart, you can verify the total taxes on a property with one multiplication using the consolidated rate which includes Town, County, School, and appropriate village tax rates. Send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with "Consolidated Rates" in the subject to request automatic updates.

Method of Computing tax bills: Total taxes to be raised divided by Assessed Valuation = Rate per $1,000.  Your bill is determined by your assessed value multiplied by the tax rate divided by 1000.

The amount paid in Town General Taxes is the smallest portion of this bill. The Ossining Ambulance Special District provides emergency medical lifesaving services to the residents of the Village of Ossining and the Unincorporated Town.

Your Town General Taxes pay for the following expenditures:
Parks Maintenance, Recreation, Senior Programs, Veterans Services, Assessment, Tax Collection, Data Processing, Financial, Supervisor, Town Board, Town Justice, Town Clerk, Town Attorney, Elections, Historian, and other Town-wide services.

Check the Assessor's Office for further information on how to file a complaint on your assessment, also available at the NY State Department of Taxation and Finance web site.

County Taxes include the County General tax, Solid Waste and Sewer. Questions concerning the County Tax portion of your bill should be directed to the County of Westchester at (914) 995-2850.

TO AVOID PENALTIES: If you mail your payment at the end of the month the tax is due, be sure there is a timely official United States postmark on the envelope or use a designated delivery service such as FedEx, UPS or Airborne. Postage meter (i.e. Pitney Bowes) and foreign postmarks are not acceptable. A Certificates of Mailing is not proof of timely payment (NY State Comptroller’s Office). When an envelope containing payment of local taxes contains no U. S. postmark or designated delivery service posting date, payment of such taxes is deemed to have been made on the date the payment is received and penalty must be paid (Real Property Tax Law §922). New York State Law provides that the Tax Receiver cannot waive penalties on real estate taxes paid after the due date for any reason. (Real Property Tax Law §920.)

Grievance Day: Third Tuesday in June each year.
Some Veteran's Exemptions apply to school taxes.
Call the Assessor's Office at (914)762-8274 to see if your Veteran's Exemption qualifies for a School Tax exemption.

Town/County Taxes are due April 30, 2017.

Budget Office

Victoria Cafarelli, Budget Director
phone (914) 762-6001
fax (914) 762-0833
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
16 Croton Avenue
Ossining, NY 10562

The Budget Office is located on the third floor of the Town offices. Office hours are Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm.

 

       pdf 2020 Adopted Budget Publication (1.08 MB)      pdf 2020 Fee Schedule (259 KB)
       pdf 2020 Adopted Budget Summary (197 KB)     pdf 2020 Budget BAN Schedule (22 KB)
       pdf 2020 Adopted Budget Detail (24 KB)     pdf 2020 Budget Bonded Debt (36 KB)
     pdf 2020 Capital Plan (72 KB)     pdf 2020 Serial Bond Payment Schedule (17 KB)

 

A Message to the Community Regarding the Supervisor’s

Tentative 2020 Budget

Dana Levenberg, Town Supervisor

October 30th, 2019

 

This has been such an exciting year in the Town of Ossining, it’s hard to believe we are back here again preparing for 2020. I have so much to share with you about how we have crafted this budget, what we have been working on, and what we will plan to use your hard-earned tax dollars for in 2020. However, I would like to start on a personal note. This year will mark the end of my second elected term as Town Supervisor in a Town where I have lived for 23 years. I have learned so much about my community over the years as a PTA volunteer, a School Board member, and as Chief of Staff for Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, but the level of appreciation for Ossining that I have discovered as Town Supervisor is extraordinary. My colleagues on the Town Board are thoughtful and open-minded, and while we may sometimes disagree, I know that we all want what is best for Ossining and all who we call neighbors. Our department heads are forward-thinking, and can always be counted on to bring new and exciting ideas to the table that will help us extend our offerings to residents and business owners, as well as ensure that all who they serve are treated fairly and do not pay more for necessary services than they need to. And finally, our amazing staff continues to be the highlight of serving as your Chief Elected Official in the Town—not a day goes by that I do not see at least one of our employees go above and beyond for a resident or share an idea about how we can perform our roles more efficiently. I am honored, proud and eager to continue this work for another term, and I feel confident that the Town will continue to provide you, our “customers,” with exemplary service at a tremendous value long into the future. Now let’s get to the fun stuff.

 

 

The Town continues to run a very tight ship—in the era of the Tax Cap (the 2020 Budget will be Town’s ninth out of nine tax cap compliant budgets), we look under every rock to find alternative funding sources for the projects we philosophically believe will help to make Ossining healthier in every sense of the word. We serve as the “umbrella government” for the Village of Ossining and the majority of the Village of Briarcliff Manor, and also serve as the direct government for the 5,500 residents of the Unincorporated Town. Our budget is relatively small, compared to other local municipalities, but complex—the Town oversees multiple funds, the largest being the General Fund (everyone who lives in Ossining pays Town General taxes, and this is where most of our municipal services are paid for), the Unincorporated Fund (police, building, planning, zoning, and animal control services), and the Highway Fund (road maintenance and snow removal). In addition, we have several smaller Special Districts, which apportion expenses and debt from capital improvements to our sewers and street lighting, as well as contracts for service for refuse and recycling, fire protection and emergency response. Keeping in mind that our residents are used to exceptional service in all of these spheres, we approached the 2020 budget with an eye towards increased efficiencies and what we hope will be enhanced service delivery, while staying comfortably within the Tax Cap. For 2020, we were fortunate enough to be allowed a two percent increase to the levy, reflective of a healthy economy throughout the state of New York. This is only the second time in nine years that municipalities have been able to increase spending by two percent -- the number in past years has often allowed for very little increased spending, which ties our hands significantly when it comes to contractually obligated personnel, medical and utility costs, not to mention updates and improvements to infrastructure. Unlike school districts, Towns are not permitted to exempt infrastructure spending from their tax cap calculation. Two percent is still a fraction of how much our costs increase each year, but we will happily take it compared with our limits in years past. Luckily, we have seen a couple of other revenue lines increase, but to stay within the two percent cap in years when we did not have a true two, we have had to get creative with how we provide services to the Town.

 

 

One of our biggest cost drivers, as in most organizations, is our staff. The Town of Ossining employs roughly 60 employees, more than half of whom belong to one of two collective bargaining units. During my tenure as Supervisor thus far, I have negotiated one contract with each of these unions, and I can confidently say that they, too, understand the constraints we are under when it comes to our annual budget allowances. The leadership teams for both unions continue to work with us to get more agile when it comes to reallocating job functions and helping good talent be recognized, and for that, we are incredibly grateful. I understand that this is somewhat rare in the municipal environment, so we are tremendously lucky to work with such progressive thought leaders. I believe they also see that we make an active effort to invest in the safety, well-being and health of our employees, which then helps them live safer, happier and healthier lives on and off the job. Over the past few years, we have worked closely with a variety of trainers (some private, some through an Intermunicipal Agreement with Westchester County), often at a reduced cost, to provide new and innovative trainings for worksite and driving safety, as well as soft skills like customer service and Cultural Competency. This type of training improves our municipal culture and, by extension, how our employees interact with one another and with our diverse community members. Creating a more positive work culture for staff has become a hallmark of my tenure, and it bears out in the numbers—our Workers Compensation costs are dropping, which is a direct result of employees being more mentally present on the job. We will continue to take advantage of these free or inexpensive opportunities in 2020, as well as making a significant investment in new safety equipment for our Highway/Parks/Cemetery staff.

 

 

A big project that we began anew in 2019 was a Town Wide Reappraisal. This may sound familiar, as the Town did something similar in 2015, but the process is a bit different this time. Before the last go-round, the Town had not done a comprehensive revaluation in more than 40 years. Based on the updated value of their homes and properties, many folks were paying too much in their property taxes and just as many were paying too little. By performing internal inspections on as many Town properties as possible, the Assessor’s Office, along with the team from Tyler Technologies, was able to eliminate our equalization rate and bring all 10,200 parcels to 100% of full market value. Each year since, our Assessor has used ratio analysis to increase or decrease neighborhood values by examining sales and market trends and we have kept the roll at 100%, as certified by New York State Office of Real Property Taxes. However, at the recommendation of the State, every five years it is time to do a reappraisal, verifying the accuracy of the property inventory with physical inspections as necessary and applying a new model based on recent market sales. We appreciate the overwhelming participation by property owners returning the data mailers and verifying the property inventory.. This work should be done within the next few weeks, and all changes will be made on the 2020 roll (used to levy 2021 taxes). We understand that this process can be a nuisance and a bit challenging to understand, but by keeping up with property values, we can ensure that all property is valued accurately—the idea is that, at any given moment, a property owner should be able to know precisely what their home would sell for on the current market and be taxed for the corresponding value.

 

 

Even though regular reviews of our building stock assists us in keeping taxes fair, we continue to beat the bushes for any and all funding streams that can offset local taxpayer expense. The Supervisor’s Office has brought in more than $1 million in grant funds since my first term began in 2016. This year, our primary use of grant funds has been to further our commitment to sustainability and reduce our impact on the environment.  We received $75,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding from the Westchester County Department of Planning, with funds from the Federal Government, to go towards the purchase of a new all-electric bus for the Senior Nutrition Program.  We continue to take advantage of New York State rebate programs for incorporating hybrid and electric cars into our fleet, with the addition of two new vans for the Senior Nutrition Program and new car for our Building Inspector.  We continue to prioritize alternative modes of transportation and plan to re-stripe North State Road to accommodate a bicycle lane before the end of 2019, with funds from NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Communities program.  Thanks to Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, we have $120,000 in Multi-Modal Funds available to us, and we plan to use these funds next year to improve our highway infrastructure and explore other ways to connect the North State Road corridor to the North County Trailway/Empire State Trail, a hallmark goal of the Millwood-Ossining Go! bike and pedestrian plan. In order to better understand how to cultivate a healthy community forest in Ossining, we completed a tree inventory along all town roadways in 2019, with funding from New York State’s Urban and Community Forestry Program.  This complements our Tree Bank legislation and newly established fees for that Tree Bank Fund.

 

 

We are kicking off a new Comprehensive Plan with Sustainability Elements with funding from the Climate Smart Communities program, and working with Pace University’s Land Use Law Center to implement a complete streets policy and explore smart growth through the lens of public health along North State Road.  Although not a grant stream, the Town and Village of Ossining were also selected as the host community for Cornell University’s Climate-adaptive Design Studio.  At no cost to us, we will receive design schematics by Cornell students for ways to make our waterfront more resilient to the impacts of climate change, including sea level rise and flooding. In 2019, we also received just over $99,000 to implement a food scrap recycling program in Ossining in partnership with Teatown Lake Reservation and Green Ossining.  And finally, behind the scenes, we received nearly $150,000 in grant funding from the New York State Archives to inventory our inactive records and install shelving to store these records.  As we go into 2020, we will continue to actively seek out grant funding to provide high quality services to our residents and improve our infrastructure while decreasing our carbon footprint.

 

 

At the same time, we have expanded the programming that we offer in order to get our residents and visitors into our open spaces and get Ossining on the map for our annual events. Between Green Ossining’s Earth Day (the biggest event of its kind in Westchester County), the Forest o’ Fears Haunting at Cedar Lane Park, our Independence Day fireworks display and our beloved Summer Concert Series now expanded to include Food Truck Fridays, Mind Body Spirit Ossining, we bring thousands of residents and visitors into our parks to enjoy our facilities each year. Since I became Supervisor, we have also ramped up the campaign to get outside sponsors for these events, as well as brought in strategic partners like the Greater Ossining Chamber of Commerce, Mike Risko Music, and Sing Sing Kill Brewery to expand our reach into the business community through Ossining and beyond. We continue bringing good press to Ossining for initiatives that help our neighbors, such as Organ Donor Enrollment Day and International Car Free Day, the Ossining Basics, MBK, Explore & Learn and Block Parties, and in 2020, we plan to work with the Ossining School District (a close partner in all that we do) to enact a community-wide Equity Task Force, and the Schools, Libraries and Villages to make sure we get a complete count for the 2020 Census, which is critical to ensure we get our correct share of Federal, State and County funding as well as representation at all levels of government. While we focus our everyday efforts on the day to day work to be done right here at home, we have coupled that with a strategy of reaching out and working more cooperatively with organizations in our midst that share our goals. I am proud of what we achieved in 2019, and there is so much more to come.

 

 

There is even more, in addition to those initiatives mentioned above, on our collective plate for 2020:

  • Our Parks continue to be a focus—after many years of neglect due to budgetary shortfalls, we have picked up where my predecessor left off and made our open spaces a priority. In 2020, we are planning to finish the dock project at Cedar Lane Park, funded by a grant from Senator David Carlucci, as well as widen and pave the road up to the Dog Park and explore adding lighting to the upper parking lot and other improvements to the Dog Park itself to go along with the new registration program. The other large park project planned for 2020 will be, at long last, installing an LED field lighting system for Gerlach Park—we have been discussing this project for the entire time I have been Supervisor, but the ability to get a good price has continued to evade us. The restoration of Sally Swope Sitting Park on Hawkes Avenue has begun, but will continue in earnest in 2020.
  • The restoration of McCarthy Drive should get off the ground this Spring after nearly a year of surveying and engineering work, kick started by our attorney’s discovery that the Town did have legal obligations to the road’s repair and maintenance. This is going to be a massive undertaking, one of the largest projects the Town has undertaken in many years, and will include a new water line as well as the widening of the road to get it in conformance with Town road standards. We also plan to repave Morningside Drive, at the behest of our Highway Superintendent, which will likely require a significant borrow to the tune of over $700,000. However, this is a well-traveled road that has certainly seen better days, and we are excited to formally add it to our list for 2020.
  • The Superintendent’s Cottage at Dale Cemetery will be completed by fall of 2020 after a long process to get us there. The Town Board will award the contract in January of 2020 to make historically appropriate repairs to the front façade (Havell Street side) and return the site to its former glory.
  • We have heard your feedback about how navigating the Town website can be a challenge, so we will be moving forward in doing a complete website redesign this year. We have already interviewed several companies and plan to make a decision in December about who we will hire to implement a more robust and user friendly site.

 

 

The Supervisor’s Tentative 2020 Budget is available in the Town Clerk’s Office at 16 Croton Avenue, the Ossining Public Library, and online at www.townofossining.com. There will be a short presentation on the proposed budget at the Tuesday, November 19th Town Board Work Session, which is scheduled to take place at 16 Croton Avenue beginning at 7:30PM.

 

 

The Ossining Town Board will also be discussing the Supervisor’s Tentative Budget with our department heads during the month of November on the following days and times:

  • Wednesday, November 20th: 11AM- 4PM, 16 Croton Avenue, 3rd Floor Conference Room
  • Friday, November 22nd: 12PM- 5PM, 16 Croton Avenue, 3rd Floor Conference Room

 

The Town Board will also hold a Public Hearing at 7:30PM on Tuesday, November 26th, 2019 at the Birdsall-Fagan Police/Court Facility, 88 Spring Street, Ossining. We urge members of the public to review the budget and either make comments at the Public Hearing, contact my office at (914) 762-6001, or email the Town Board at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

--Dana



pdf Town of Ossining - Fund Balance Policy (54 KB) (Passed by Town Board June 2, 2010)

folder Audits & Financial Statements - Archive

folder Archive - Voucher Detail Reports - Approved vouchers by the Town Board.

 


 

Town of Ossining Fund Balance Policy

The Town of Ossining (the “Town”) has an important responsibility to its citizens to carefully account for public funds, to manage municipal finances wisely and to plan the adequate funding of services desired by the public, including the provision and maintenance of public facilities.

An important indicator of the financial stability of the Town is its un-reserved fund balance that represents the un-assigned and unencumbered balance of the Town’s revenues held in the Town’s numerous funds.

Download the Fund Balance Policy for full details...


 

folder Download Town Budgets from the Archives...

folder Download Audits and Financial Statements from the Archives...

 

Town Board Contacts

Town Supervisor: Dana Levenberg - phone (914) 762-6001 - fax (914) 762-0833

Council Members: Elizabeth Feldman, Gregory G. Meyer, Jackie Shaw, Northern Wilcher Jr.