“Every time you see an empty building, your taxes go up because there is no tenant paying the full tax rate, the commercial tax base is weakened by vacancies, and the pandemic has made it worse. And we are just living with it. We must put a plan in place to build ourselves out of the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic."
My vision for smart development in our town will ensure housing and good jobs to growing families and essential workers, keeping them from leaving and taking business with them. Let’s take advantage of new technology and new laws to attract new industries like green businesses and e-commerce. The government incentives and grants to build our workforce ALREADY exist: it’s been up to the Town government to apply for them and bring to our workforce the resources that they need to thrive in the 21st century economy, like universal broadband access. I won’t leave money sitting on the table when it could be used to build Greenburgh’s economy.
My Economic Development Plan Has Four Key Parts:
First, go after new business. Pitch them with demographic data, infrastructure data and workforce development plans. Make this information easily available.
Second, invest in the workforce by creating on-ramp opportunities to the industries that pay a living wage. This includes taking advantage of the universal broadband access offered by Biden’s and Cuomo’s infrastructure plans, so our young people are not left out of the digital economy. I would create on-ramp jobs training (as I did at Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Teachers) and with public-private partnerships, and partnerships with unions. This also means working with residential developers to require affordable housing so people earning $50k-$100k can afford to live here. Those are our young professionals and essential workers. I would work with unions to ensure subcontracts for residential and commercial development include union labor before approval of the land use permit. The current scarcity of affordable housing in Greenburgh has been moving us away from a strong young professional workforce, creating a disincentive for businesses to move here. We must change course.
Third, create Enterprise Zones that are customized for specific commercial corridors because each one is unique. We will bring stakeholders together in each community, along with the Small Business Association, and the Westchester County Catalyst Small Business assistance program while also working with the state to obtain incentives and grants for business development. It’s shocking to know that this funding has existed for years, but has not been utilized by our current Supervisor for Hartsdale, Edgemont, or Elmsford. These government entities work to support our existing local businesses, and new business. We must partner with them.
- Fourth, provide solutions for abandoned or under-utilized properties where re-development is complicated. We’ve gotten used to walking by empty storefronts and urban sprawl, and the pandemic has made this so much worse. But every time we walk past an empty building, it means our taxes go up! When we work toward increasing the commercial tax base, the burden on the residents go down. Derelict buildings are complex problems to solve, but I rise to the challenge and my administration will make it a priority to work with communities to find solutions.