November 2nd, 2020 – Town of Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter, along with the members of the Islip Town Board, unanimously adopted the Town’s 2021 annual operating budget and the 2021 capital budget plan.
The budget is available online, Click HERE to View.“We will continue to maintain our commitment to good fiscal stewardship to our residents, despite the challenges we have been confronted with in 2020, and the uncertainty of where we are headed in 2021. We have made every effort to be fiscally responsible, not decimate services, and lay off employees as some other municipalities have been forced to do, and certainly not to “kick the can down the road,” said Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter.
The increases in costs are the result of shortfalls which occurred as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic-an unprecedented nearly $6M; loss of court-ordered fines and judgments approximately $1.5M-in excess of $750,000 due to the loss of Interest earnings (January rates were 1.4% and are now .2%); loss of Building and Planning revenues, permits, etc. expected to be close to $2M; the anticipated loss of State Aid- $750,000; and mandated, increased expenses in Health Care and NYS Pension Costs, and the Storm Isaias clean-up efforts of nearly $5M.
The Town’s 2021 operating budget does not cut any services, staff or programs. The operating budget proposes a modest annual increase to the average assessed home of approximately $33.51 or 5.83% across the three major Town funds; the General Fund, the Highway Fund and the Town Outside Village.
“Unfortunately, the Town of Islip has received no help in terms of direct Federal funding, unlike the Town of Hempstead, which received $133M in CARES Act funding. Instead, the entire allotment of $257M was given to Suffolk County to offset the devastating financial impacts of the pandemic. Regretfully, the County has not shared any of this funding with any of the towns or villages, despite our collective requests for assistance,” said Supervisor Carpenter. “While we understand that times are hard for many, and that any increase may present a burden, this decision was not reached lightly. In order to avoid layoffs, or cutting services and amenities that our residents expect and deserve, the reality of recent events, funding cuts and revenue losses, make this increase though difficult, the right decision,” she said.
Total expenditures for the Town increased by approximately $3.6m, from $244.5m to $248.1m. This represents an increase of 1.47%. The allowable tax cap increase was 1.56%. The total expenditure increase is technically under the cap, however, revenues were not in line due to the extraordinary circumstances cited above.
The Town of Islip maintains an Aaa bond rating from Moody’s Investment Services, the highest rating a municipality can have. Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter took office in 2015. Under Supervisor Carpenter’s leadership, Moody’s elevated the Town’s bond rating to Aaa in the Fall of 2015, and has re-affirmed that rating 5 times since its initial upgrade. Moody’s financial ratings are used by banks and others in the financial services industry, to determine the financial health of a given organization. A positive bond rating translates to the most favorable rates when going to the bond market. Because of our rating, recent refinancing yielded an unmatched rate for the Town of 0.29%.
“I would like to thank our Town of Islip Comptroller, Joe Ludwig and his team, who’ve done a fine job helping us craft a budget that strikes the balance we need so that we can move forward. I would also like to thank all of the Commissioners and department heads for holding the line on spending, and thank all involved, especially the members of the Town Board, for their cooperation and efforts in delivering this comprehensive 2021 Budget to the residents and taxpayers of our Town. Their untiring efforts in providing the level and quality of services and support that Islip taxpayers expect while living and working in our great town are commendable,” said Islip Supervisor Carpenter.