The proposed budget will be filed with the Town Clerk’s office today and should be posted on our website www.greenburghny.com this weekend. The Town Board has until December 20th to review, modify and approve a final budget. The Town Board will be meeting with department heads to discuss the proposed budget and there will be opportunities for public comment. I am more than happy to meet with civic groups in the coming weeks to discuss the budget and to respond to any questions you may have.
This is my budget message for 2016.
BUDGET MESSAGE 2016
I am pleased to present the Town Board with my proposed 2016 budget. Once again, we have kept the budget within the limits of the New York State tax cap. In addition, the increases are the lowest in years: less than one-half of one percent in the A budget and barely over one percent in the B budget (see Tax Rate Summary table, below).
FISCAL STRENGTH - Our financial success is the result of our ongoing pursuit of new smart-government cost-saving initiatives and the relentless efforts of the Town Board, our department heads, and members of the community. Combining these efforts with prudent limitations on new expenses will prepare us for the inevitable challenges of the economic cycle. We owe it to our community to work together to keep our government expenses under control and limit the use of fund balance to ensure financial flexibility and the long-term prosperity of our Town. The Town used $1.1 million of fund balance, in the Town Entire Fund and Town Outside Village Fund, to balance the budget in 2016. The Town Entire and Town Outside Village Fund Balances are projected to be $13.6 million and $20.9 million, respectively at December 31, 2016.
The Aaa bond rating we have received from Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, the highest bond rating a municipality can earn, has helped us with financing - keeping costs down on essential infrastructure needs and other capital projects.
RESIDENT BONUS CHECKS - Our residents are or will be the beneficiaries of special New York State financial incentives due to our cost reduction efforts and the Town’s ongoing adherence to the State tax cap. New York State is rewarding residents with bonus checks for those who live in communities that comply with the tax cap and have cut expenses. Our taxpayers started receiving them last month. The opposite is true in many other communities and school districts around the state that have already announced they will override the tax cap. Greenburgh has kept tax hikes under the State cap every year since the cap was enacted into law.
TAX RATE SUMMARY* 2016 2015 Difference %
“A” Budget $15.9652 $15.8876 .0776 .49%
“B” Budget $201.0113 $198.9643 2.047 1.03%
(Town O/S Villages)
BUDGET SPENDING SUMMARY 2016 2015 Difference %
“A” Budget 17,208,808 17,873,692 (664,884) -3.72%
“B” Budget 74,054,274 72,190,361 1,863,913 2.58%
(Town O/S Villages)
The $664,884 reduction in the Town Entire’s 2016 appropriations is essentially due to the $750,000 reduction in the appropriation for the allowance for uncollectible taxes.
In summary, Greenburgh is financially sound. However, we need to continue on the same fiscal path so we may remain strong and confident in the face of an unpredictable future.
*The tax rate is calculated by dividing the appropriations by the assessed valuations for a given year. The spending variance is simply a comparison of the current year’s appropriations against the prior year’s.