Supervisor Thurston and Wappinger Town Board Approve 2021 Budget With NO Tax Increase
2021 Spending Plan To Maintain Services While Being Under The Tax Cap and Fiscally Conscious To Residents During COVID-19 Pandemic
WAPPINGER NY – During the November 9, 2020 Regular Meeting of the Wappinger Town Board, Supervisor Richard L. Thurston, Senior Councilman William H. Beale, Councilwoman Angela Bettina, Councilman Christopher Phillips, and Councilman Al Casella unanimously voted to approve the Town’s 2021 Final Budget.
Supervisor Richard L. Thurston called the 2021 Budget process a “team effort” going on to thank the Town’s various department heads and elected officials in assisting to craft a fiscally responsible budget during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Supervisor Thurston said that “from the beginning of our budget process it was my goal to offer the residents of the Town of Wappinger a 0% tax increase, a goal that we accomplished here tonight.” The Town’s 2021 spending plan keeps the A-Fund Homestead (residential) Tax Rate the same, with no increase, at $1.86 per thousand of assessed value and the B-Fund Homestead (Village residential) Tax Rate the same, with no increase, at .77 per thousand of assessed value. “We have ensured that both rates remain unchanged to give taxpayers a break on their Town of Wappinger taxes during these troubling times. I have honored my commitment, and, all the while, have continued to expand our core services to the community. Further, we have not sacrificed any safety, health or welfare needs.” Supervisor Thurston went on to say.
Highlights within the Budget include a projected $100,000 worth of revenue to come in from the Town owned Carnwath Farms Historic Site & Park in 2021. The Supervisor said that “We are moving forward with the rehabilitation of this gem. We plan to continue to make Carnwath a true destination for the arts, culture, antiquities, recreation, and community.” The Town plans to develop a community center for all ages on the ground level of the Reese Cultural Center at Carnwath to increase recreational programming and rental opportunities. Also during the Meeting, the Wappinger Town Board held a public hearing on a proposed Dutchess County CDB Grant on this proposed Community Center to which there was no opposition and the Town Board voted unanimously.
Additional highlights includes money for the expansion of recreation and senior programming, continued town-wide park improvements including the further development of pocket parks in our neighborhoods throughout the town, and the plan to pave and reconstruct 6.58 miles of Town roads.
Senior Councilman William H. Beale, who represents the First Ward, stated “As we continue to face an unprecedented public health emergency, we are met with fiscal and operational uncertainties in 2021. This year’s budget deliberations required tough decision making to maintain essential town services and programs.” The Councilman continued to say that “I believe we have done our due diligence to our residents by crafting a spending plan that maintains our current tax rates, which are among the lowest per capita, in Dutchess County.”
Fourth Ward Councilman Al Casella said “This is a fiscally conservative and responsible budget, This budget includes NO tax rate increase to residents and keeps intact the services and programs we had planned in 2020 before COVID. In this budget, we succeeded in staying well below the NYS tax cap of 1.56%. As we move into 2021, if conditions improve vs our current assessment, we will re-visit a number of key areas we believe will improve the overall quality of life for town residents. I am looking forward to working with the Town Board and the residents to make our community an even more desirable place to live.”