In recognition of the ongoing successes by the Saladino administration and the Town Board in repairing the Town’s financial position, Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded the Town’s long-term bond rating – from Baa2 to Baa1 – with a ‘positive outlook’ and upgraded the Town’s short-term obligation rating from MIG3 to MIG2. This is the third time a bond rating upgrade has been awarded the Town since Supervisor Joseph Saladino took office, as well as the third positive declaration from Moody’s Investor Services.
In awarding the bond rating increase, Moody’s cited Supervisor Saladino and the Town Board’s efforts in getting the Town ‘on the road to healthier finances,’ further stating that ‘there is now every indication that the Town’s efforts will culminate in a successful restoration of financial health.’ The report further touted the Town’s successes in cost cutting, eliminating the need for cash flow borrowing and successful resolution of the most critical litigation. Additionally, Moody’s stated they “…do not see any material immediate credit risks…” and that “…the ongoing pandemic has been only a small speed bump in the town’s progress.”
Supervisor Saladino stated, “Wall Street continues to recognize the many positive steps taken by my administration and the Town Board to fix the financial problems of the past and bring this Town back to fiscal stability. In just three years, we have received three bond rating upgrades and an increased outlook designation from Wall Street. We’ve successfully restricted spending, significantly paid down debt and maintained a tax cut given to residents in 2018. And we’re just getting started, as we will continue to keep our promise to taxpayers by protecting their wallets while sustaining services.”
Since taking office in 2017, Supervisor Saladino and the Town Board have cut property taxes while reducing debt and the operational budget deficit. In fact, both the 2019 and 2020 Town Budgets sustained the $1.3 million property tax cut approved by the Town Board for 2018 by implementing a plan that froze taxes in both years. As a result, $3.9 million is in the pockets of taxpayers rather than the coffers of government. Total Town debt has also declined, from a high of $763 million to $603 million at the beginning of 2020, bringing this administration’s three-year cumulative debt reduction to a grand total of $160 million. In addition, Supervisor Saladino and the Town Board successfully eliminated a multi-year operational deficit which hit a high of $44 million under the prior administration, turning it into a $27.4 million surplus as of December 31, 2019.
“I am so proud that our monumental efforts in getting our Town’s finances back in order are once again being recognized. We have successfully maintained strong financial management, achieved substantial debt reduction initiatives, increased efficiencies and created innovative ways to better serve our residents while saving taxpayer dollars,” said Supervisor Saladino. “Although challenges will always remain, this administration and Town Board will continue to govern with fiscally conservative budgeting practices that place the utmost importance on protecting our residents, moving our communities forward and bettering Town services.”