This letter is written in response to a December 27th letter written by Mount Vernon Mayor Thomas in reference to the 2017 City Budget and was posted in its entirety unlike the edited version that ran in the Journal News .
In his letter, Mr. Thomas states that the 2017 adopted city budget results in an $18.00 a month property tax. This information is incorrect. The budget actually results in an $18 per year increase for a house with a $10,000 assessed valuation. In relation to his other claims, there is no evidence to justify the wild and unsubstantiated allegations that appear to be a result of his vivid imagination. The adopted 2017 budget results in a 1.07% property tax increase, the lowest in over two decades. The budget funds the services required by the residents and businesses in Mount Vernon.
It also should be noted that the Mayor voted, as a member of the Board of Estimate and Contract, for the 2017 budget. How could he vote in favor of the budget and now criticize it? Contrary to his claims, the money to finance 2017’s contractual wage increase has been appropriated in the 2017 budget and will be paid out in 2017. The city has already paid the 2014, 2015 and 2016 increases in the year 2016.
The Mayor has demonstrated and continues to demonstrate a profound, unfortunate and embarrassing inability to read and understand basic and elementary financial and accounting documents. It has often been said that “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.” This is exactly what Mayor Thomas has done in his unfortunate letter that is riddled with inconsistencies and errors.
Maureen Walker, CPA
Comptroller of the City of Mount Vernon
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