To the Editor:
Over the past few years, we observed the disastrous effects that Bidenomics has had on our economy. The federal government’s massive spending program of over $4 trillion fueled historically high inflation, resulting in higher prices everywhere, from the grocery store to the gas pump. Town budgets have not been immune from these inflationary pressures, with governments observing increased costs to support local infrastructure and wages. Despite these significant cost increases, Greenwich’s finance board, the Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET), passed a historic budget with only a 1% increase in our town’s mill rate. How did we do it?
Republican-led BET maintained fiscal discipline during inflationary times.
At the start of budget season, recognizing the challenging economic climate before us, the Republican-led BET passed budget guidelines, requesting town departments to reduce operating costs by eliminating inefficiencies and finding synergies. Our town departments stepped up to the challenge. They worked alongside our board, allowing us to pass a historic budget – roughly $482 million operating and $112 million in capital while managing to contain our property tax rate increase to 1%. Approximately 80% of the $112 million capital allocation was appropriated to our public schools, many due for renovations or rebuilds.
Democrats want more spending and increased taxes.
In Greenwich, fiscal discipline is under attack by partisan Democrats, not unlike what we observed at the federal level, where the Biden administration unleashed a massive amount of spending and debt. In Greenwich, despite passing the largest capital budget ($112 million) in the town’s history, Democrats are arguing this is not enough. Democrats want to spend more, and Democrat BET members are running on a platform to take on long-term debt, raise taxes, and spend without constraints.
Democrat policies would increase taxes by up to 50% over the next few years.
The town’s current five-year capital plan allocates $400 million toward school and infrastructure projects. Democrat spending platform and lack of fiscal discipline will balloon this spending to over $1 billion. There is no way to spend more without taxing more. Unlike the federal government, the town cannot just print and spend. The core of our town’s good financial governance – spending and investing responsibly, providing excellent town services yet keeping taxes affordable- has to be defended. It is important. And we will.
Our commitment is to respect taxpayers and keep Greenwich affordable.
Driving around town or spending time in our beautiful parks and beaches, one might think Greenwich is a homogeneous town of wealthy financiers for whom a $5,000 tax increase is a drop in the bucket. However, Greenwich is an economically diverse town with retired residents who live on fixed incomes and middle-class families who live on tight budgets. As financial stewards, the BET must be diligent, ask questions, demand transparency, and invest responsibly. We must develop robust budgets and adhere to them. Our residents want excellent town services, to modernize our schools and infrastructure, AND to keep our taxes affordable. That is our platform; that is our commitment.
On Tuesday, November 7th, Vote AGAINST Bidenomics infiltrating our town. Vote FOR all 6 Republican BET candidates to ensure we have strong financial leadership and keep Greenwich affordable for all.
The six authors of the above letter are Republican Candidates for the Greenwich Board of Estimate & Taxation (BET)