The State of Our Budget
Between 2015 and 2023, Schaffer and the Town Board have increased the Town budget almost 8 million dollars,
financing it through increasing taxes and creating debt.
While they were increasing residential assessments and taxes dramatically, they did NOT increase those of businesses.
Under them, residential taxes will rise indefinitely.
Many residents in Vestal simply cannot afford more taxes, and no one (no matter what they can afford) wants to pay more than they have to.
What Schaffer and the Town Board have been doing is unacceptable and must stop.
Over Schaffer and the current Town Board’s tenure,
spending has increased dramatically.
An increase of almost 8 million dollars from 2015 to 2023.
And therein lies the problem…
Budget increases must be paid for with increases in taxes and/or debt.
As of 2022, the Town of Vestal was over 13.1 million dollars in debt (plus over 1.7 million in Fire Department debt).
Town of Vestal Debt (April 2022)
Since then, Schaffer and the Town Board have voted to approve the following additional debt:
Aug 2022 – 2 million dollars to upgrade a water and sewer line.
April 2023 - 4 million dollars to rebuild the pool.
April 2023 - 500,000 dollars for highway repairs
And Schaffer has stated that he will build a new Town Hall (unspecified cost).
Note - The Board now claims that they have found emergency funding for the pool. Two questions arise - Why didn't they try to find funding before authorizing bonds to pay for it? Will they still spend the 4 million dollars they authorized? They won't say.
How much debt are we in now?
It is impossible to tell. Schaffer and the Town Board will not say.
They have hidden it, lied about it, and blamed others, but the truth is that Schaffer and the Town Board have made conscious choices to increase spending, taxes and debt.
Glenn, Robert and I will enact a gradual, responsible plan to reduce the Town budget by:
Reevaluating all expenditures
Maintaining all essential town services
Slowly decreasing the Town workforce (through attrition)
Protecting our hardworking Town employees
We will do a complete reevaluation of the entire budget, going over it line by line, with complete transparency and maximum public input.
Glenn, Robert and I will ensure gradual, responsible change so that the residents of Vestal will be able to afford to continue to live here.
Your vote is important.
Sources of Information
Vestal Town budgets – 2015 to the present
Town of Vestal Official Statement 2022:
(Page 20 of the BAN Report (included) from April 2022)