With finance expertise, offered to help study merger of villages; never heard back

To the editor:

A year ago I sent this letter to both villages. Received no response.

Hi. I’m a long-time resident of the Village of Pelham and former banker. I’d like to discuss the idea of merging. Frankly, it’s nuts that we haven’t been able to achieve that yet.

I used to work in finance.

If a merger saves money overall through efficiencies, then that’s good, right?

If Pelham Manor taxes go up in a merger, I assume that means that Village of Pelham taxes go down. Let’s work with that.

I guess there’s no legal way to merge but keep the same tax structure, at least for a while? If there is, that would seem fair—my taxes would go down due to savings, at least until things got equalized.

Might there be a way to even things out? I think that on average a family lives in a house for ten years. Working with that, let’s figure the tax difference is 10% between equivalent houses. (It looks like it’s more like 8%, but I think you have more non-homestead tax income, so let’s use 10%.)

So basically over ten years, I’m paying an extra year’s worth of taxes to live in Pelham versus Pelham Manor.

Let’s say the merger saves 5%. Pelham Manor taxes would go up 5% and mine would go down 5%. (If the differences are only a pittance, we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion.)

So to even things out, assuming the villages are the same size (they pretty much are), we’ve got to find half a year’s worth of taxes to transfer from the Village of Pelham to Pelham Manor.

We have a way to do that. It’s called taxes.

I know nobody wants a tax increase. And recovering half a year’s worth of taxes over ten years is an extra 5%. That’s not insignificant.

But it’s worthwhile. It will save money every year, in perpetuity, after that ten-year period. In addition, the value of our property would go up in the long run because taxes will be lower after that ten-year period.

Additionally, the efficiencies should lead to better police and fire protection, better road repair, etc.

So even though I don’t plan to live here forever, I think that if a merger saves money, I’m willing to pay for it to even things out.

I leave the task of selling it up to the politicians and advertising folks. But if there’s a committee in the Village of Pelham working on this, I’m happy to be a part of it.

Shaun Breidbart

336 Eighth Ave.