Not only have the taxes risen to this seemingly unsustainable rate, but also Pawling has a good deal of debt.
OVER 19 MILLION DOLLARS+ OF DEBT (school, town and village)
Some of those high taxes you now pay go to service interest and principal. With interest rates low it may seem to be a good idea to borrow now but we must realize that this only adds to our problem of sky high taxes and it will continue to do so for many YEARS TO COME.
Working to improve our infrastructure does not always mean a loan is needed. There are recent examples of smart, cost conscious decisions that have been made to make improvements for our town. Pawling has obtained private and federal grants, applied for and received state funds, and joined forces with community groups to raise private money to improve our public spaces. This hard work has paid off and more of it is needed to make future improvements and sustain our quality of life without making our tax situation worse.
In 2012 a much needed tax levy cap was placed on towns and schools here in New York State. This was done in part because NY State already has among the highest property taxes in the nation. Since then NY local governments have had to better manage the tax money they collect. Many small towns have shown creativity in meeting the demands of the community without exceeding the tax levy cap. We have struggled in Pawling with that same challenge.
We need to work together as a community to meet it without jeopardizing the future with more debt!