From the beginning of my administration that began thirty years ago I pledged to our taxpayers that I would make it my priority to deliver town tax controls, tax relief and very low town tax increases every year.
I am proud to announce that for 30 years our total town tax increase, on average, has only been 1%. Many years were zero (0%) increases, one year was a
–4% reduction and in other years there were reductions, as well. In addition, we have met the recent New York State mandate to cap the tax levies of 2.0% each year and for 2021, 1.56%.
Over the years, we have had a voluntary and real tax cap in the Town of Cortlandt that has benefited all of our property owners both residential and business owners. At the same time we have tripled our town savings (fund balance) and every year produced a surplus.
The Town has always maintained a positive Fund Balance without deficits. We’ve always had a balanced budget. Once again last year we generated a surplus, which was used for tax control and relief, and maintained our very strong savings account. These monies were also utilized for capital projects from town hall renovations, new recreational areas, road improvements, water projects and for acquisition of land for open space purposes. Cortlandt has completed over $160 million dollars of projects and did not impact our taxpayers with tax increases during many of these 30 years for these large projects.
Also, Moody’s has graded Cortlandt with an Aa1 bond rating recently, based on our excellent financial practices and achievements. Even during recessions we kept an excellent bond rating status and were just upgraded. An accomplishment we are very proud of.
Our local economy is doing well. New businesses have come to Cortlandt throughout these thirty years and thousands of new jobs have been created from this economic growth. This is a remarkable statistic considering what occurred in our Country during the recession that began in 2008 and continued for several years and throughout this year’s pandemic.
To achieve this record we began early on to share services and consolidate departments inorder to have a more efficient government. This was accomplished way before the recent state tax cap became mandatory and a New York State law.
Cortlandt is a large Town with 40 square miles and 42,000 people. It is a wonderful community in a lovely setting adjacent to the Hudson River. We have excellent schools, a state of the art recently expanded hospital center, dedicated emergency service providers, a Cortlandt train station and a Veterans medical facility that has served our Veterans for 60 years. Also, a new shopping center, Cortlandt Crossing, has opened which will provide more jobs and revenue. One third of our land is parkland and open space and we have excellent recreation programs for every age group. We have also recently completed a new Master Plan to guide us for the next several years. In summary, Cortlandt is a wonderful and affordable community to reside and to raise our children.
“I am very proud to have served as Town Supervisor in Cortlandt for now thirty years. I have worked very hard along with our entire team in our government (town board members, department heads and all of our 180 employees) to deliver and maintain a very close to one percent town tax increase, on average, for our taxpayers while at the same time always seeking new ways to improve our services and community.”
- 30 Years of Tax Caps (only 1% on average for town tax increases for the entire 30 years)
- 30 Years of a Balanced Budget
- 30 Years of NO DEFICITS
- 30 Years of an Increased Savings Account (tripled in this administration)
- 30 Years of a Surplus (each year)
- 30 Years of Low Town Debt (only 1.2% of the total bonding capacity has been used)
- 30 Years of Major Improvements and Capital Projects (over $160 million dollars)
Linda D. Puglisi,
Supervisor Town of Cortlandt