Vision for West Haven
My vision for West Haven is clear…a City where you can live, work and be entertained in a community that has low taxes, an impeccable education system and a quality of life second to none.
My plan to get there starts by attracting and cultivating a robust commercial base that will provide much needed tax revenue to offset the taxes our homeowners presently pay. It is an approach I took in my first two terms as Mayor and we are now seeing the results in the way of an increased Grand List that is generating new tax revenues. It is important to point out that every dollar West Haven gets from the commercial sector is one less dollar West Haven must ask the homeowners to pay. This approach is not an increased tax to the business community, it is leveling out where the revenue comes from.
For generations, West Haven’s leaders had approached our finances on a two-prong strategy…raise taxes or cut expenses. I come from the business world and know there is a third prong, raise revenues, revenues that offset and lower the taxes homeowners must pay and that can only be done by increasing our commercial community.
A vibrant commercial community has many more benefits to offer our city that I will elaborate on a future post.
A vibrant business community is at the center of every great city.
Businesses bring employees that earn an income that is spent in the city. They bring an opportunity to collaborate and fund community events, and they build up properties that have an added value to our Grand List. Grand list growth is at the heart of stabilizing taxes for any city.
A City must raise a certain dollar amount to provide needed services to its residents. Those dollars can come from taxes paid by homeowners, businesses or ideally both. It is a fact that in West Haven the homeowner pays the majority of taxes because we were not focused on building our commercial base for decades.
I am proud to say in four short years, my focus, while I was Mayor, was attracting millions in new commercial investment. Last year, we saw the benefits of that with an increased Grand List that brought an additional 1 million dollars in revenue.
It is important that while pointing out all the benefits of a robust commercial environment for a City, it is also important to recognize the fiscal facts that every dollar we receive in taxes from a business entity there is one less dollar we must receive from our residential taxpayers. This fact is not an over taxing of the business rather a spreading of the tax burden among a larger pool of taxpayers.
We must get back to raising revenues to not raise taxes.