The Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson unanimously adopted a budget for the fiscal year beginning June 1, 2009 in a special meeting on Monday, April 27, 2009.
This budget includes several ground-breaking actions. First, the total budgeted appropriations for the new fiscal year ($15.91 million) will be lower than those for the 2008-2009 current fiscal year ($16.19 million). Second, in light of the economic climate village revenue from non-property tax sources for the new fiscal year ($5.89 million) will be conservatively and prudently projected as just below the non-tax income for the 2008-2009 current fiscal year ($5.98 million). Third, even with the pressure to increase non-tax revenues, key non-tax fees such as commuter parking and water and sewer rates will remain frozen at the current levels. Fourth, by judicious but determined reductions in budgeted expenses for the new fiscal year, the tax rate in the Village of Croton-on-Hudson will be cut by 1.84% to $227.989 per $1000 of assessed valuation over the current year rate of $236.590 per $1000.
The Village Board comprises five Democrats, three of whom were elected last month. The Village staff played a significant role in working closely with the Board to achieve these unprecedented results for village property owners. Trustee and Deputy Mayor Ann Gallelli on the new budget: “I am pleased we could provide some small relief this year as next year’s budget looks even more challenging. Now is the time for us is to take a hard look at how economic conditions in the Village might be improved, and that is a challenge in which the Board is already engaged.”
Trustee Rick Olver on the new budget: “Our taxes are too high-they are unsustainable for homeowners. We’ve made the hard decisions, and have delivered a tax cut. Now we have to promote new business to increase our income. These are tough times and we need everyone’s support to cut costs and grow income.”
Trustee Ian Murtaugh on the new budget: “This unprecedented budget decrease was accomplished through the hard work and cooperation of the village administration, department heads and both the current village board and our predecessors who transitioned with us before we were officially seated. Hopefully this cooperative community spirit will be continued through our next steps which will be to encourage positive revenue increases through means other than additional taxes on homeowners.”
Trustee Demetra Restuccia on the new budget: “This tax cut would not have been possible without strong leadership from the board and the staff and the strong team playing from all departments. I am impressed with everyone’s willingness to tighten their belts and look out for the best interests of Croton.”
Village Manager Abraham Zambrano on the new budget: “The Village Board had to make some difficult decisions this year. They were able to achieve a tax decrease and maintain services; a task that is rarely attainable without service cut backs. This is something that in my years as a municipal official I have never seen.”
Village Treasurer Sandra Bullock on the new budget: “This budget tax cut is a fiscally responsible one. The word budget means, “an estimate, often itemized, of expected income and expense for a given period in the future; a plan of operations based on such an estimate.” The Village of Croton-on-Hudson’s 2009-20110 budget tax cut which utilized minimum fund balance is one which estimates that-if this economy continues to worsen-the Village will have “rainy day funds” available to possibly approve another village tax cut for upcoming budget years. The local government must do its part in hearing and reacting to the concerns of the village residents. I believe this upcoming year village tax cut will receive a warm welcome from the village tax payers.”