Further demonstrating their ongoing commitment to improving the financial position of the Town, Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino and the Town Board announced that Moody’s Investor Service has granted the Town its first ‘positive outlook’ in nearly two decades.
In assigning the new positive designation to the Town, Moody’s recognized that Oyster Bay is ‘on the road to healthier finances and there is now every indication that the Town’s efforts will culminate in a successful restoration of financial health.’ Moody’s further acknowledged the Town’s finances as being ‘vastly improved’ and its confidence that Town ‘finances will continue to improve based on strong measures taken by management to reverse the past history of poor budgeting.’ The report further touted the administration’s ‘numerous steps to improve financial operations,’ and stated that if the Town remains on the same financial path through the end of 2019, ‘this would mark a major milestone in management’s efforts to restore fiscal strength.’
Supervisor Saladino stated, “Wall Street recognizes the positive steps being taken by my administration and the Town Board to restrict spending, pay down debt and balance the books without raising taxes. From cutting property taxes to reducing debt and hiring an Inspector General, this Town Board is keeping its pledge to protect taxpayers.”
The positive outlook designation comes high on the heels of the Town’s recently-issued financial audit results, which indicated that the Town successfully eliminated the multi-year operational deficit which hit a high of $44 million under the prior administration, while also ending 2018 with a net $17.7 million budgetary surplus. This is the second straight surplus produced by the Saladino administration. Due to the rapidly improved financial health of the Town, in 2019 there will be no borrowing for cash-flow purposes for the first time in 10 years.
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, the 2019 Town Budget sustained the $1.3 million property tax cut approved by the Town Board for 2018 by implementing a plan that froze taxes in 2019. As a result, $2.6 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 a projected $603 million by years-end, bringing this administration’s three-year cumulative debt reduction to a grand total of $160 million.
Supervisor Saladino concluded, “I am so proud that mg administration and this Town Board has again been recognized for its vast efforts to get finances back on the road to stability while cutting taxes. Although challenges will always remain, we have successfully entered a time of strong financial management, debt reduction initiatives, greater efficiencies and innovative programs designed to better serve residents and save the taxpayers more money. This administration and Town Board will continue to govern with fiscally conservative budgeting practices that place the utmost importance on protecting your wallet and moving our community forward.”