By Mayor Ron Belmont
I would like to take this time to highlight a generous group of hard working women in our town. The Knifty Knitters Club, a group of volunteers from the Harrison and West Harrison Seniors who crochet and knit specialty items, have recently donated their wares to underprivileged children in our area. Over 600 handmade hats, scarves and blankets were delivered to Head Start programs in White Plains. In addition to children’s centers, the Knifty Knitters have also provided warm knit-wear for veterans groups, battered women’s shelters and church organizations. The group created red hats for the Heart Association, given to infants born in February. To this small army of craftspeople, thank you for bringing joy to so many and for representing our community in such a charitable and heartwarming way. If you’re interested in joining the Club or donating materials, please call Bobbie Sassano at 428-1959.
Please be reminded that, if you have a burglar alarm system installed in your home or business, you must be registered. An application must be filed with the Harrison Police Department’s Alarm Bureau. There is a $75 annual fee for residents, $150 for businesses and $25 for seniors.
For more information, please visit www.harrison-ny.gov or call (914) 813-7455.
Highway crews will be working diligently to spot and repair pot holes. Crews will be using asphalt hot boxes that will improve and prolong our road repair system. In the past, our Department of Public Works used only cold asphalt patch to temporarily fill pot holes and repair our municipal roadways. The asphalt hot box is designed to maintain the asphalt temperature, for a prolonged period of time, thereby making any repairs permanent. DPW crews have received training from the hot box manufacturer and will be employing this new method of repair. If you have any concerns regarding potholes, please direct your calls to the Department of Public Works main number at 670-3100.
Harrison’s Historical Preservation Board has updated the display case, in the lobby of Town Hall, with memorabilia highlighting our town’s sports and recreation events from long ago. Features include photos and articles on the Silver Lake Ski Jump, which started in 1929, and the Thunderbird Classic held at Westchester Country Club from 1963-1965. The display is also full of photos, articles and mementos on recreational and high school teams dating from 1908-2001. When you’re in Town Hall, be sure to take a look and if you have any suggestions for the Board, on future displays, please send them via an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would like to take this time to congratulate Harrison High School Senior, Ryan Pertak. Ryan competed in his last dual swim meet with the Harrison Recreation Department’s Winter Swim Team. He started his swim career at the age of 7 and is planning to swim in college. Ryan comes from a family of swimmers as both of his sisters, Kaitlin and Brianna, swam for Harrison. Ryan also swam for Harrison High School’s swim team for all four years of high school and was Captain for the past two years. He is an All Conference swimmer and made Sectionals in the 100 breaststroke. Ryan currently competes on the YWCA Middies and has qualified for the Silvers, the Junior Olympics and the Senior Mets.
On February 28th Ryan competed at the Westchester Fairfield Swim Leagues Championship meet. Congratulations to a great athlete.
At this year’s Memorial Day Ceremony, Harrison’s VFW (Veterans of Foreign War) would like to honor past and present residents, of Harrison, who have received a Purple Heart. It will be a privilege for our community to recognize our combat veterans who were wounded on the world’s battlefields while serving our country. For this sacrifice, they were awarded the Purple Heart Medal and to recognize this distinction is a wonderful way to express our heartfelt thanks for their service. This year’s Ceremony will take place on May 28, 2018. Please submit names to Kerry Marrano, in the Mayor’s Office, in Town Hall (email@example.com/670-3009).
I would like to highlight an issue that may affect many residents: tax exemption status. It is that time of year again, time for exemption renewals to be sent out. The assessment office is sending out renewal applications to all enhanced STAR applicants from prior years, as well as applicants of the RPTL 467 senior exemptions. These applications are being sent out with instruction information and all required dates. Deadline applications are due on or before May 1, 2018. Additionally, May 1 is what is known as Taxable Status Date, which requires all exemption applications to be submitted as well as any demolitions of real estate to be completed to valuation changes. The assessment office asks that all renewals are carefully reviewed and that all required documents be submitted in a timely manner to avoid a loss of eligibility.
Exemptions offer modest to significant relief from real estate taxes. Enhanced STAR and Basic STAR offer relief on school taxes, whereas a Veterans exemption offers relief from General Town and County taxes and in some cases, school taxes. The Senior 467 Exemption is the most comprehensive and can offer a sliding scale reduction based on income of up to 50% from all forms of real estate taxes.
As with all applications for exemption from taxes, there are rules. All Senior exemptions require proof of age, and an income component, with amounts varying based on the application provided. The Enhanced STAR income total is $86,000 based on 2016 Federal Income Tax returns. The Senior 467 exemption is $37,399 based on 2017 income data. This exemption is based on gross income from all sources and not net income, IE: social security income counts.
New homeowners, or those seeking STAR for the first time, must now apply to the state at www.tax.ny.gov/star or call (518) 457-2036. The Harrison Assessors Office is available for questions, Monday to Friday from 9AM to 5PM. The office can be reached by calling (914) 670-3060. No applications will be accepted unless complete, as audits by the State of New York have become commonplace.