Illustrating his statement, “Bigger is not better,” Former New Rochelle Mayor Len Paduano speaking to the New Rochelle Citizens Reform Club claimed that the two cities in Westchester that are hurting the most financially because of over-development are New Rochelle and White Plains. Eastchester, Larchmont and other communities are not experiencing such large real estate tax increases. Even New Rochelle’s sales tax increase can be attributed mainly to the 1% increase granted by the state.
Sadly he said that a developer wants the New Rochelle Post Office because “people roll over” backward. New developers should go some place else where they are needed, such as Mount Vernon. In his opinion some council members know nothing about how how the facade of the Post Office was replaced with brick. This did not change its historic significance and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
When he was Mayor he was against reassessment. But now he claims politicians are shrewd because they know when reassessment occurs, one-third of the taxes will stay the same, one-third will go up, and one-third will go down. Thus, two-thirds of the voters will be on their side. He emphasized that since most commercial properties are over-assessed, the excess burden from reassessment will fall on homeowners. Companies that perform reassessments have strong lobbies. The argument that certioraris will lessen by reassessment is wrong because, “You will always have certioraris.
Other topics covered were that Westchester is the highest taxed county in the country, the New Rochelle city budget, allowing the waterfront in the East End to be taken over by a developer with an unsatisfactory plan, and the fact that developers did not get abatements during his term of office.