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A reason why other towns can't comply with tax cap: privatization of sanitation rates went up 42%
Release Date: November 25, 2018

A reason why other towns can't comply with tax cap: privatization of sanitation rates went up 42% this year...

I am a member of the Westchester Town Supervisors Association. Last week we met to discuss our proposed budgets. Three of the Town Supervisors who attended mentioned that their proposed  2019 budgets exceed the tax cap.  Greenburgh has never approved a budget that exceeded the tax cap - a cap that the NYS Legislature approved and Governor signed into law designed to limit tax hikes.  Residents who live in communities that comply with the tax cap receive a check from NYS in the mail as an incentive. The 2019 proposed Greenburgh town budget is under the tax cap.  There will be a public hearing on the budget this Wednesday evening at 7:30 PM at Greenburgh Town Hall.
We also discussed another issue that comes up frequently: should localities privatize sanitation?  North Salem has a private contract and their rates went up 42% this year - forcing them to come up with a 2019  budget that exceeds the tax cap.  Carting contracts that are approved by local governments with private companies frequently offer preliminary low ball prices --but after a year or two the increases begin and quickly.  Sometimes only one company submits bids.  Greenburgh hasn't offered residents single stream recycling which is very expensive. The following is an e mail I received from the Supervisor of North Salem, Warren Lucas. Warren, a former President of the Westchester Municipal Officials Association, takes his job very seriously, works very hard and is very smart. I asked him if I could share his experiences with residents of Greenburgh and he sent me the following:  

Paul, the refuse increase from City Carting increased 42% over the 2015 - 2018 contract.   I know North Castle's original bid was a larger increase (52% I think) although they  have negotiated it down.


The problem for us is single stream recycling.   China is no longer paying for the plastics and now the companies have to pay them to take it.     We have 1,984 pickup's, not very large.  The cost is $38.70/month/residence for the new contract.   Private payers pay more, however this was a significant jump for us.  Our garbage is Ad Valorem and NYC DEP is about 8.5% of the Town assesssement so in reality the average bill is about $35.41/month.


I should have known it was going up and put some money away but every time I asked them City Carting they told me things were perfect and because of that I was not expecting the 42% jump.   Also only one company bid, City Carting, the company I had, just like in North Castle (their existing company bid there) from what I was told.   I called the other companies who said they were bidding and they told me they decided they didn't want to do single stream recycling, which is hopefully accurate, as we are going out to bid again in April 2019 as I only signed up for a one year contract.   What I am afraid of is what happened many years ago where people did not bid on someone else's contract.


This article explains some of the issues.    https://www.tapinto.net/towns/north-salem/articles/north-salem-garbage-contract-concerns

The following is an article from Supervisor Warren Lucas:






Warren J. Lucas

Supervisor, Town of North Salem

266 Titicus Road

North Salem, NY 10560

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