Growing Our Economy, Lowering Our Taxes
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A plan to ensure Orangetown remains vibrant & becomes more affordable for generations to come
Our economic state as a town and our tax rate are inextricably linked – the better our economy, the lower our taxes can be, as a bigger pie requires a smaller slice to keep government going, and the less we have to rely on residential property taxes versus commercial ones.
As Councilmen, Denis Troy and Tom Diviny have developed a record of keeping Orangetown’s economy humming while holding the line on taxes in a way not seen in other nearby towns.
With Chris Day joining them as Supervisor, having a full-time leader on the job ready to focus on the task at hand will allow them as a team to deliver a truly bold and serious plan to take those past efforts to the next level.
Ultimately, this plan will allow us to actually REDUCE taxes for our residential taxpayers by both attacking the expenses of government and growing the total revenues it receives.
What’s Been Done
- Seven straight years under the New York State Property Tax Cap: After years of double and high single digit tax increase, often as high as 13% per year, we and the Republican majority on the board have kept taxes down under the cap – even despite being presented with proposed budgets from the supervisor seeking to break the cap, resulting in substantial savings and rebates to Orangetown taxpayers.
- Data centers to deliver tax dollars and jobs with minimal impact: We have brought such data center projects as Bloomberg and fifteenfortyseven, and are actively working to complete approvals for a Chase data center on the RPC property.
- NYC Football Club training complex: Through years of difficult, complex negotiations we were able to bring in a world class professional sports franchise to the RPC property, one which will be a resource for our town and greatly increase economic activity in the area.
- Retention of major anchor businesses: Through directly interfacing with major local employers, we have managed to ensure that they have not left for greener pastures in other regions. This includes Verizon Wireless, which had planned on leaving but was able to be convinced to stay.
What We’ll Do
Growing our Town’s Appeal
- Create a Piermont ferry to a Metro North station across the Hudson River in Westchester: Though this project would require substantial focus and coordination with various levels of government, if properly implemented it would instantly increase home values by a substantial percentage and drive a business renaissance across Orangetown, invigorating our economy and driving up revenue to government while allowing for lower taxes across the board. This ferry would drop passengers at one of the mid to lower Westchester stations (Tarrytown, Irvington, or Dobbs Ferry), and the proximity of Tallman State Park and its large parking facilities would give flexibility to minimize the commuter impact on local streets.
- Use tax credits to revitalize downtown hamlet spaces: Added to a few less expensive direct fixes such as paver crosswalks, we would implement a property tax credit program for main street-facing property owners that complete a renovation of their buildings in accordance with appearance guidance to be created by the town, allowing them to deduct the cost of these improvements from their tax bill and greatly increasing our town’s broader curb appeal.
- Work with local chambers of commerce to recruit anchor businesses & market to tourism: By identifying anchor businesses that can drive economic activity to local downtown retail outlets and by marketing each hamlet and village to the NYC Metro Area to attract tourism dollars according to each’s strengths and unique appeal.
Attracting Business and Dollars
- Actively recruit nearby companies from various sectors, leveraging the strengths of each individual community: Using the supervisor’s office and Chris Day’s intimate knowledge of the venture capital industry and the economic development budget, we will make direct outreach through such methods as direct advertisement, forums/conferences in such places as Westchester, the Connecticut gold coast, and Manhattan, and various other methods. One such example would be to recruit financial service firms from areas like Greenwich to Piermont and Nyack, as both areas share similar characteristics but we enjoy the advantage of being relatively less expensive.
- Market Pfizer/IRG and RPC properties to attract business development that is an asset to our community: These two major tracts of real estate can have substantial appeal to the right companies for our area, allowing us to gain tax revenue and high quality jobs. Uses such as a tech company campus for the Pfizer/IRG property or further data center construction for the RPC property would be examples of the types of companies that would add substantially to our town.
- Use the supervisor’s office to assist local property owners in finding occupants for vacant commercial space: With direct attention and marketing from within the supervisor’s office and working with local realtors, we will find occupants for empty space within Orangetown, with a goal of 95% occupancy of available commercial properties by the end of 2018.
Smoothing the Path to Growth
- Create an economic development budget line item, funded with a percentage of all new commercial property tax receipts: This will allow the town to reinvest in continued economic growth in order to ensure a continued focus on keeping our economy vibrant.
- Set up “one stop shop” guided and coordinated approval process for appropriate permits: Currently approvals for projects are a maze and business owners often think they are done before suddenly running into a surprise new hurdle to jump. By creating a smoother process, making it clearer up front, and walking business owners and homeowners through it, we will remove inefficiency from the process.
- Promote new technology and automation in the land use approval process: In coordination with the new head of the town’s building department and other relevant officials, we would ensure that systems are in place to allow automated submission of online FOIL requests, fillable PDF forms and documents, computer access to land use records, and other such advances in order to remove unnecessary time and steps that interfere with approvals and proper reviews.
- Utilize Zero Based Budgeting to justify each dollar every department spends: Through renewed focus from the supervisor’s office and coordination with department heads, we will ensure that the people’s money is being spent wisely and on the right priorities.
- Implement a full independent review of processes and departments within government in order to find areas in which modern innovation can deliver real savings: Our town needs to be running on the same modern systems that major companies do in order to deliver profit to their shareholders. By reviewing our processes we will make sure that these systems are implemented where they can be to deliver the same profit to our shareholders – the taxpayers of Orangetown.
- Enter into joint procurement agreements with other municipalities to save on bulk purchases: By expanding existing efforts into these joint purchase order/procurement systems, the town would save substantial amounts of money through bulk purchases – a shared order of some minor office supply along with several towns and villages could cut 10% or more off the purchase price per unit, cutting costs without making processes more difficult for our departments.