Mayor Wants to Raise Taxes, Loot Reserve Fund, & Make Off with Personal Pay Raise

There are good budgets, there are bad budgets, then there are shameless budgets. The new Mount Vernon budget proposal is the definition of shameless.

Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas’ budget for 2018 includes a double-digit-percent raise for himself.

The $118.3 million budget proposed is nearly an 11 percent increase in spending, up $11.6 million from the adopted budget in 2017. The Mayor has also proposed a 4.87 percent increase in taxes, and siphoning off $5 million from the city’s reserve fund.

Thomas’ proposal also includes an almost 12 percent raise for himself. If adopted, his salary would increase from $143,000 to $160,000. The median income in Mount Vernon is around $50,000.

Reclaim’s own Affordability Crisis Report for the Hudson Valley shows middle-income Mount Vernon residents struggle to make ends meet. But these folks will have to pay more so the Mayor can take more.

The draft budget would also nearly double salaries in the Mayor’s office. The proposal would increase them to $630,792 from the 2017 adopted amount of $332,624, according to the Journal News.

Salary spending would also increase across several departments in Mount Vernon. Police would see salaries increase by almost 20 percent, and fire salaries would rise almost 16 percent.

Thomas also proposed increasing salaries in planning and community development, and rehiring 10 staffers laid off this summer.

Thomas delivered his budget to Mount Vernon’s Board of Estimate and Contract on Tuesday. The Journal News reports that the budget must now go to the City Council and Comptroller’s offices for review.

The budget must be adopted by December 31, and it will take effect January 1.

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