Every town, city and village in NYS (and county, state governments) will be facing enormous revenue shortfalls as a result of COVID-19. The town of Greenburgh anticipates revenue shortfalls that can be as high as 7 million. Our sales tax is down. Our hotel tax, mortgage tax is down. User fees are down. Court fees are down. We anticipate that many businesses won’t survive- resulting in certiorari’s (loss of revenue).
One suggestion: an Early Retirement buy out for employees. This would enable local governments to reduce the workforce without having to layoff many employees. A condition: Towns, cities, villages, county and school districts that take advantage of early retirement options MUST reduce the work force long term and commit to not raising taxes during the next budget cycle. There are too many taxpayers who are out of work. Tax hikes at this time would create significant hardships for residents.
I believe that NYS should also create a Task Force that would take a look at the many layers of government in New York State (NYS) and be authorized to place on the ballot a restructuring plan of NYS government. I remember reading years ago that NYS had more layers of government than any state in the nation. The new normal should not look like the old normal in NYS.
This concept, if enacted, would result in long term savings for taxpayers. I welcome your thoughts.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor