In a recent Journal News article by David McKay Wilson, it was pointed out that New York State pays some town’s property taxes for the state land within those towns.
For instance, the state pays property taxes to 19 municipalities where state prisons and parks are located, such as Sing Sing and the Old Croton Aqueduct Park in Ossining. This will amount to about $1 million in 2017.
Assemblywoman Sandy Galef has proposed a bill that would have the state pay taxes to all municipalities for state property contained within those towns.
Galef’s bill was sparked by the October 2016 Tax Watch investigation that found the state does not pay taxes to all towns that have state property.
The state pays about $750,000 a year in taxes for the Downstate Correctional Facility, which you see along I-84. In addition, it seems Putnam Valley is getting taxes for its portion of the Indian Hill Trump Park, but we’re not getting any money for the portion in Yorktown.
State Sen. George Latimer (D-Rye) filed legislation to bring Westchester, Rockland and Putnam on parity with each other. And many, including Yorktown’s own Vishnu Patel, are asking, “Why doesn’t the state pay taxes for all of its property in all its towns?”
According to Latimer, “This will deliver many millions of dollars directly to a number of Westchester municipalities allowing them to substantially reduce homeowner property taxes.” All of our state representatives should support this bill.
Town Councilman Vishnu Patel raised the issue at the Town Board meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 7, because the state has FDR State Park and the Donald J. Trump State Park in Yorktown Heights. Looking for a chance to bring additional taxes to our town, Mr. Patel submitted a resolution for that agenda.
The town supervisor was unclear as to why this resolution was not included on last week’s agenda. Mr. Patel intends to introduce it again at the board’s Feb. 21 meeting.
This requires no building, no disruption to neighborhoods, no rezoning and no environmental studies. It’s just asking to be paid fairly for what already exists, keep the same income and expenses and pass the savings to our residents.