As the Mayor and Chief Budget Officer of East Hills, I am proud to announce that for an unprecedented 11th year in a row, the budget in East Hills contains a zero tax increase for our residents. While it remains unconfirmed that 11 years sets a more widespread record at the county level, or otherwise, the continued passage of our budget without tax increases is an accomplishment, and I thank our board and our executive staff as well.
With the advent of coronavirus, we continue to face many new and significant challenges. However, even with the obstacles we face, the village is projected to maintain approximately $3 million surplus at the close of the fiscal year.
As a result of the economy still flagging due to COVID, we expect reduced revenues, which range from defaults in paying taxes to reduced building fees, less state aid, to reduced revenue in the village justice court. We are, however, hopeful that the economy will rebound by end of 2021. Nevertheless, through this budget we will be prepared for status quo in revenues. Our costs will be contained because we have further eliminated and minimized all unnecessary costs. We have previously replaced most of our fleet of trucks and vehicles. We also save an estimate $150,000 by not having an additional village administrator and by managing the village directly by myself and the board.
We are proud that we continued to earn one of Moody’s highest bond ratings, Aa1, of any village our size. We are also invigorated that this past year we once again received one of the finest evaluations of any village on the financial stress tests given by the NYS Comptroller. Our housing prices are booming, and East Hills continues to be one of the most sought after communities on Long Island.
I thank my fellow board members, Deputy Mayor Manny Zuckerman, and Trustees Clara Pomerantz, Brian Meyerson and Stacey Siegel for their support. I further thank the board for their consideration of this budget and other issues that confront the village, such as airplane noise, security and pollution, and code revisions. I want to express my gratitude to our Village Attorney, Bill Burton, Village Justice Howard Jaslow, Village Clerk Donna Gooch and all department heads.
It should be stressed that village taxes generally amount to only 16 to 17 percent of all taxes paid by our residents. Yet, even with our rather meager portion of all taxes paid, we shoulder the entire costs of sanitation, snow removal, paving our roads, security, the pool, the park, administration for our programs and fire protection.
—Submitted by the Village of East Hills Mayor Michael Koblenz