Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino and the Town Board today announced that independently-audited financial results indicate the administration and Town Board produced a net $14.6 million budgetary surplus for Town coffers in 2021. This is the fifth straight surplus produced by the Saladino administration. As a result, the Town now has $62.2 million in reserves – the highest level ever. Due to the rapidly improved financial health of the Town, there is no longer any borrowing for cash-flow purposes for the fourth straight year.
“These independently-audited results confirm that the Town of Oyster Bay continues to fortify a financial turnaround under our leadership. While cutting property taxes and delivering important services, we have earned six Wall Street Credit Rating upgrades, reduced debt by a remarkable $187 million and turned a multi-million dollar deficit into a $62.2 million surplus,” said Supervisor Saladino. “Financial professionals have stated that the Town’s fiscal turnaround has been nothing short of remarkable. Yes, the Town once faced a $44 million deficit yet now has a $62.2 million surplus while cutting town property taxes due to fiscally-sound budgeting practices.”
Earlier this year, certified public accountants Cullen & Danowski, LLP conducted an annual audit of Town finances to close out the fiscal year. This accounting, auditing, and financial consulting firm confirmed the $14.6 million surplus produced by the Town of Oyster Bay management team. These audited financial statements, available for public review, will be utilized by Wall Street when determining the Town of Oyster Bay’s credit rating in the coming weeks.
Supervisor Saladino added, “My administration and the Town Board have achieved great successes with cost-cutting, highly-improved services and debt reduction – all while protecting your wallet. We remain steadfast in continuing to deliver important services, grow the economy, create jobs, improve roadways and parks, clean up the environment, and enhance the suburban quality of life in our Town. We will continue to deliver on our promises of efficiencies, debt reduction and maintaining spending restraints to protect you, our taxpayers. Make no mistake, we will continue to face each challenge head on while delivering quality services for residents in this same cost-conscious manner. We are proud of the many milestones reached in returning fiscal stability while cutting taxes and earning credit rating upgrades from Wall Street.”
These independently-audited financial results continue to demonstrate that the Town maintains a strong financial footing. Confidence in the current management team has been recognized by independent Wall Street firms. Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings awarded the Town an A+ credit rating and Moody’s Investors Service awarded an A3 credit rating, with both agencies designating a positive outlook. The Town has earned a total of six credit ratings upgrades since the Saladino administration took office in 2017, including four during the COVID-19 pandemic during which economic pressures impacted all governments across the nation. These upgrades are great news as they save taxpayers millions of dollars by allowing the Town to bond at lower interest rates (for infrastructure improvements, including roadway repaving) than in the past and further permit the Town to refinance existing debt – continuing to save you money. Financial advisers forecast additional credit rating upgrades as the Town continues to produce multi-million dollar budget surpluses.
Since taking office in 2017, Supervisor Saladino and the Town Board have cut property taxes while reducing debt and eliminating the operational budget deficit. In fact, the 2022 Town Budget sustained the $1.3 million property tax cut first approved by the Town Board for 2018 and maintained in 2019, 2020 and 2021. As a result, $6.5 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 $576 million at the beginning of 2022, bringing this administration’s five-year cumulative debt reduction to a grand total of $187 million.
The 2022 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report is available at on the Town website at www.oysterbaytown.com/departments/town-comptroller.