COMMENTS MADE BY SUPERVISOR PIAQUADIO
BEFORE THE PUBLIC HEARING ON THE 2019 BUDGET
As the Town Supervisor and Chief Fiscal Officer of the Town of Newburgh, I hereby present the Town Board’s approval of the Town of Newburgh’s 2019 Budget. This budget is over the tax cap by approximately $ 93,185 and has a combined General and Highway Fund tax rate of $ 15.06 per $1,000, or an increase of only .57 cents for a combined increase of (3.8 %).
The preparation of this budget was an effort between the Town Board, myself, the Accountant’s Office, and all Department Heads.
We will maintain a total of over 160 full-time and 85 part-time employees.
This budget enforces our commitment to public safety with 47 full-time officers and 13 part-time officers while continuing such programs as Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) and Junior Police Academy.
The budget also provides for 27 full-time highway employees for such critical infrastructure needs, snowplowing, and maintain approximately 190 miles of Town Roads.
Recreation has scheduled over 24 bus trips for our residents including an overnight trip to Lancaster, and many other community activities.
This 2019 budget is the first time that the Town had to exceed the tax cap since its inception in 2011. Fortunately, property owners will still receive their rebate checks from the State as this is dependent on your school district to keep under the cap, not the towns.
To keep using cash reserve to stay under the cap is the same as using your savings account to balance your home expenses eventually you will deplete your savings.
Reasons we had to exceed this cap included:
Cost of living increases of 2.5%,
Health insurance costs up approximately 8%,
General Insurance up 10%, and,
Projected retirement system up 7%.
The average house in the Town of Newburgh is assessed at approximately $68,000. This household will pay approximately $ 39.00 more for the General and Highway taxes.
Had we stayed under the cap, the average homeowner would pay $ 35.00, approximately five dollars more per year.
My philosophy as well as the Town Boards’ has been to save for a rainy day as we strive to maintain a healthy fund balance. This philosophy has served us well and has allowed us to maintain a healthy financial position with strong reserve levels, as confirmed by our Moody’s Aa2 rating.
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