PRESS RELEASE FROM SUPERVISOR’S OFFICE
Town Supervisor Andy Stewart presented his 2017 budget proposal at the regular meeting of the Town Board on Tuesday, September 27. If passed by the Town Board, this would be the fifth year in a row that the town budget has stayed under the tax cap.
“This is a lean, efficient, and fiscally conservative budget that cuts back on town spending and minimizes the burden on residents while preserving critical services. Over the coming weeks I welcome the public’s feedback” said Stewart.
The Supervisor’s budget is the first of three drafts of the Town Budget. The Town Council will submit a revised Preliminary Budget on October 18, and the entire Town Board will vote on a final budget on November 15. A public hearing on the Preliminary Budget is scheduled for November 1.
Stewart noted several major factors will impact this year’s budget: a reduction of the Town’s allowable tax levy by $1.4 million, or 2.2 percent, due to the Pfizer/IRG PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) agreement and the resulting shift in the balance of the levy from non-Homestead to Homestead; and mandates from Rockland County requiring towns to budget for tax certiorari payments ($1.5M), community college tuition chargebacks ($240K), and elections ($200K).
“A big reason we can keep taxes under control is the success of our two golf deals, moving Broadacres and Blue Hill to private management, which is saving us $600,000 year and has boosted rounds,” said Stewart, referring to the his successful campaign to convince the Town Board to hire a private company to manage day to day operations at the town’s two golf courses.
Recently, Stewart announced he is giving up the supervisor’s position at the end of 2017. Former Congressional candidate Chris Day, son of Rockland County Executive Ed Day, has confirmed he is likely to run for Stewart’s seat from the GOP side and figures to be a favorite to defeat whoever challenges him from the Democratic side.