Hempstead Town Board Approves Tax Freeze Budget - 2012 Plan Blazes Trail of Fiscal Responsibility Provides Top-Notch Services at Lowest Possible Cost
|October 11, 2011|
Armed with the highest Wall Street credit ratings available and a budget that maintains all services in full force, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and the entire Town Board approved a 2012 budget on Tuesday that freezes all town taxes at 2011 levels. Murray observed that the spending plan blazes a trail of best budgetary practices and fiscal responsibility at a time when many governments at all levels are in fiscal free fall.
Blazing a Trail of Fiscal Responsibility
In announcing the 2012 budget, the Supervisor quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson's cautionary note that states, "Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." Murray pointed out that many governments have simply taken the "path" of least resistance in budgetary decision making - a path that is littered with cuts to services, slashes in capital improvement programs, prospective layoffs, increases in borrowing to unsustainable levels, as well as a reliance on "one shot" revenues and other fiscal gimmicks - in an attempt to prop up sagging budgets.
Value for Your Tax Dollar
Hempstead's administration offers superior value for the property tax dollar, according to town officials. The township provides the lion's share of local services enjoyed by residents, excepting primary/secondary education and police protection, while constituting only nine cents ($.09) of every tax dollar (less than one cent of every tax dollar goes toward town services for residents of incorporated villages).
Controlling Costs & Pursuing Grants
From controlling debt service costs for our government to managing salary and wage costs, Murray's government is constraining costs within its control in a forthright and honest manner. At the same time, the town's team of governmental managers is aggressively pursuing state and federal grant funding to deliver services and finance projects while minimizing any direct impact on taxpayers.
Investing in the Future/Stimulating the Economy
As other governments have curtailed capital improvements, Murray's administration knows that a robust capital agenda will help supplant private sector jobs lost to economic hardship while improving roadways, infrastructure and municipal buildings. In fact, the town's $50 million capital program for 2012 will keep town streets and facilities in tip-top shape and even fund the construction of a $6 million state-of-the-art recreation center for children with special needs.
Freezing Taxes, Blazing a Trail
"Some other governments may put taxpayers at risk by engaging in fiscal sleight of hand or budgetary gimmicks," concluded Murray. "I won't do that. Hempstead Town is freezing taxes and blazing a trail of fiscal stability. That's why we've earned the respect of Wall Street rating agencies and the trust of neighbors on Main Street."
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