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Old 02-11-2010, 02:54 PM
 
263 posts, read 479,772 times
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Sorry, I'm sure this has been asked/answered but my searches didn't come up with a definitive answer.

I'm very curious why the taxes in Westchester, and towns like Yorktown in particular, are so high, even compared to NJ & CT. Even in White Plains where taxes are a bit lower, I still pay $6,500/year for my 1,200 square foot co-op.

I've seen $550,000 houses in Yorktown with taxes of $13,000/year. A similar house in Ridgefield, CT would be closer to $8k or $9k, and NJ I think is around that as well. And in certain other parts of NJ and CT I've seen them closer to $6k or $7k.
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Old 02-11-2010, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
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I am probably deluded, but taxes in Yorktown don't seem higher to me than in surrounding towns. They definitely vary a lot-- my taxes aren't much more than 13K and my house is still worth a lot more than $550K (knock on something). And our taxes have gone up a lot less in the past few years than Those of our friends in neighboring towns. Generally Yorktown is better off since it has a fair amount of commercial taxpayers and some big businesses like IBM. But... None of that answers your question. When you find out, let me know!
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Old 02-11-2010, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Manhattan
353 posts, read 956,857 times
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Roughly 2/3 of the taxes go to education and the biggest expense is teacher's salaries. The following link shows that teachers' salaries and benefits per pupil in 2004-5 range from $9280 to $13828 with most districts in the $10-11,000 range. Note though, that Yorktown has one of the lowest spending per pupil. I assume that retired teacher's pensions are incorporated into these numbers and that may be a significant portion of the costs.

http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html...D_GRAPHIC.html

Last edited by fyrisle; 02-11-2010 at 06:06 PM..
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
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That chart is 5 years old and I don't think represents the current picture. Yorktown has changed its superintendent and school board since then and increasing the amount spent per pupil--and cutting other costs--has been a priority for the past few years. I am pretty sure that that number now is a lot higher--but I couldn't find it in a search. Generally I'd say the Yorktown school district has done a very good job in the last few years of cutting expenses, spending more on students, and adding and improving resources while keeping tax increases pretty low. Last year's school tax increase was 2.6%, which was a lot lower than many other districts' in the area. I personally don't like the superintendent or the board, but I think there's consensus in town that the district is much better run--and is spending its resources much more wisely--than it used to.
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Old 02-12-2010, 05:41 AM
 
Location: Westchester County, NY
10,763 posts, read 17,387,126 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dma1250 View Post
I am probably deluded, but taxes in Yorktown don't seem higher to me than in surrounding towns. They definitely vary a lot-- my taxes aren't much more than 13K and my house is still worth a lot more than $550K (knock on something). And our taxes have gone up a lot less in the past few years than Those of our friends in neighboring towns. Generally Yorktown is better off since it has a fair amount of commercial taxpayers and some big businesses like IBM. But... None of that answers your question. When you find out, let me know!
There was a time (up to maybe the late 1990s) where Yorktown was notorious for having much higher taxes than the rest of Westchester. To the point where houses in Yorktown cost a lot less to buy than surrounding areas. What happened since is all the other places "caught up" and then some.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fyrisle View Post
Roughly 2/3 of the taxes go to education and the biggest expense is teacher's salaries. The following link shows that teachers' salaries and benefits per pupil in 2004-5 range from $9280 to $13828 with most districts in the $10-11,000 range. Note though, that Yorktown has one of the lowest spending per pupil. I assume that retired teacher's pensions are incorporated into these numbers and that may be a significant portion of the costs.

http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html...D_GRAPHIC.html
One problem is that our teachers probably have the highest salaries of any in the country, especially when you are very experienced. I do think there are many teachers that are underpaid out there, but here we have many who are making over $100K. The below website lets you see last year's salaries, you can look up your kids' teacher or principal if you know where to look. Of the two KINDERGARTEN teachers at my daughter's school (she was in K last year), hers (who has 10 years experience) made almost $90K and the other one (30 years and on the verge of retirement) made $110K. To put this in perspective, the principal (who also has been there about 15 years so he's not new and I would expect more likely to get six-figures if anyone gets it) makes only a little more than that teacher, about $140K.

http://www.seethroughny.net/StatePay...spx?BRANCHID=6

Even though I am career-changing into teaching, I cringe when I hear things like teachers fighting over a 2% raise vs. a 4% one. Yes, for some it's a tougher job than perceived, but most in the corporate world have pretty tough jobs too and are getting no raise right now, or getting laid off so I would be grateful to be getting a 2% raise especially if it keeps my colleagues employed and hope things improve/fight more for it when times get better. If they were cutting your pay or saying no raise for more than a year I might feel different, but at least you are being recognized enough to be getting a raise in this day and age.

Oh and rather than go on it here, there is a past post on property taxes that I noted this, part of the problem is important as schools are, people here are more hyper about it and micromanage who is "better" than any part of America, the price being that more and more only the wealthy can live here.

Last edited by 7 Wishes; 02-12-2010 at 05:52 AM..
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Old 02-12-2010, 04:53 PM
 
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I agree totally with 7wishes. Just look at Fairfield County schools, lots of them are very good too on 8k property tax vs. 20k here on average. I wonder how their teachers are paid. Unless you have a banking job, living in lower Westchester paying that property tax doesn't make sense for your life. We are considering moving out to CT.
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Old 02-12-2010, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Manhattan
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I think the reason Fairfield has lower taxes is because GE is based there.
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Old 02-12-2010, 05:16 PM
 
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Have no idea but you can start by checking to see who controls the county. If Democrates, there is your answer....
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Westchester County, NY
10,763 posts, read 17,387,126 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PEmom View Post
I agree totally with 7wishes. Just look at Fairfield County schools, lots of them are very good too on 8k property tax vs. 20k here on average. I wonder how their teachers are paid. Unless you have a banking job, living in lower Westchester paying that property tax doesn't make sense for your life. We are considering moving out to CT.
I actually recently got a CT license to teach middle school math and currently have 2 p/t jobs in two districts in the county to gain experience so I can tell you since most districts publish "step scales" for f/t teachers there they're still paid pretty good compared to most of the US (for teachers) but less than Westchester. Ironically at one time (I think about 15+ years ago) they were among the lowest paid teachers in the region. For example those $100K teachers at a similar experience level in Fairfield County districts generally get about $75-95K, still not shabby.
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:59 PM
 
1,594 posts, read 3,300,734 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fyrisle View Post
I think the reason Fairfield has lower taxes is because GE is based there.
And no separate County government and its set of services and taxes.
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