Assemblymember MaryJane Shimsky Responds to CGR Study of Potential Edgemont Incorporation Impacts

Tarrytown, NY – Assemblymember MaryJane Shimsky raised concerns over the potential costs of Edgemont village incorporation, in response to a draft study presented by the Center for Governmental Research (CGR). Acknowledging the limited scope of CGR’s assessment of fiscal and operational impacts – which modeled only one-year post-incorporation – Shimsky sought projections for major capital projects in Edgemont, such as water infrastructure, climate resilience, and new municipal facilities, and for the loss of revenue in Greenburgh’s commercial tax base. To date, no petitions have been submitted in what would be a third attempt by incorporation advocates to qualify for a referendum vote on Edgemont incorporation.

With more than 100 people in attendance at Greenburgh Town Hall on Wednesday night, and nearly 60 viewers on Zoom, CGR offered one-year estimates of a neutral increase for Edgemont residents and a 0.6% tax increase for the rest of unincorporated Greenburgh.1 But these estimates are fraught with uncertainties. The 0.6% tax increase to unincorporated Greenburgh could be much higher if Edgemont does not contract all of its major services from the Town; it also assumes a 7% cut to Greenburgh’s budget. The costs to a village of Edgemont would become higher by litigation costs and unresolved issues regarding water service, debt service, the Hartsdale Public Parking District, and local parks, including the Greenburgh Nature Center. CGR’s final report is due April 1.

“CGR’s study raises many questions, a substantial number of which remain unanswered and some of which are simply unanswerable without a crystal ball,” said Shimsky. “The report’s biggest takeaway is that village incorporation in the 21st century is an inherently risky proposition. Estimating the costs for anticipated contingencies can be hard enough, but others are beyond our ability to predict and could quickly exceed the estimates provided for Edgemont and Greenburgh.”

“A substantial set of assumptions flow from the scenario posited by incorporation advocates, that a village of Edgemont would not provide basic services like police and public works, but instead would contract for them from the part of Town that they chose to leave,” Shimsky said. “But, if the residents of Edgemont wish to continue the services that Greenburgh currently provides, why would they want to assume the financial risks of village incorporation?”

“Meanwhile, the impacts of an Edgemont incorporation would fall hard on unincorporated Greenburgh, where the majority of the Town’s lower-income residents live,” Shimsky added. “The trend in New York State has been toward the dissolution of villages, not the formation of new ones — largely for the relative stability and savings that government consolidation affords.”2

Shimsky was the co-sponsor of two 2023 bills to modernize and strengthen the process for village incorporation in New York State (A.7754 and A.7761). These created the requirement of a current fiscal and operational study for the prospective village and surrounding town, and established a new State commission to assess the viability of incorporation. They also raised the minimum population requirement for a community to incorporate as a village, and eliminated an outdated provision regarding a landowner basis for petitioning, among other provisions.

Governor Hochul signed the bills in late December, but proposed chapter amendments exempting Edgemont and Greenburgh through 2040 (A.8572 and A.8573). Citing her opposition to a 16-year exemption, Shimsky voted against the chapter amendments when they came back to the Assembly in January 2024.

The entire Town of Greenburgh except for the area of Edgemont is located in Shimsky’s Assembly District 92, along with the Town of Mount Pleasant and a portion of northwest Yonkers. Edgemont was moved into Assembly District 88 in 2022, the year before she took office, as part of a redistricting process approved during the prior legislative session.