FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY: A financially stable city is a successful city
In the final laps of the campaign trail, Lauren Carter is determined to spread the message of moving Mount Vernon in the right direction.
Lauren, as well as the community members, have exchanged thoughts about the city’s fiscal status. There is a major concern about the city losing its credit rating just over three years ago.
“There were some individuals in office who failed to handle their responsibilities and lacked transparency. So various credit agencies withdrew our credit rating. One of the ways to have a successful city is to have a good credit rating, multiple revenue streams, investments, wise spending, and cash flow for the city to do the things it needs to do. At the moment we are unable to even bond to get certain items that we need. There are particular capital investments that will be difficult for the city to make without credit. To be successful and prosper, we need a strong financial footing. We need to get our finances secured.”
Like any great leader, Lauren has a plan that will help the city make capital investments so we can raise the level of service in the city. That’s why it is important to her that the city works to restore its credit rating. And that’s what she will do if elected to the city council. She will work with the mayor, the comptroller, and her colleagues on the city council to get it done.
Lauren’s fiscal concern, however, is not just for the city but for individuals and businesses affected by the pandemic. A new report released in March from State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, cited U.S. Census Bureau data showing that 78% of businesses with less than 500 employees are still experiencing a negative impact due to the pandemic one year after coronavirus took hold in New York.
“In going out and speaking to many business owners in Mount Vernon, many are still trying to recuperate and recover from the shutdowns in response to the pandemic. There have been a lot of business closures so I’m listening to what the needs are to see how I can help as a council person. Successful businesses benefit the entire community because of the varied tax revenue that’s generated in addition to the jobs that can be created and sustained. There are so many benefits the city will gain and reap when businesses prosper.
As a part of her platform of community and economic development, Lauren is also passionate about empowering deserving persons who would like to start a business and those having tax issues. “There are many who are seeking to help themselves by starting a business and they need capital or other assistance. The city can offer capital and other incentives through the Industrial Development Agency (IDA). Instead of granting PILOTS to residential developers, incentives through the IDA should be used to help maintain existing business and attract new businesses. That is what I would like to do in showing service and commitment to my community.
Moreover, I would like to adopt legislation that would provide assistance to taxpayers who are behind in their city taxes. The benefits are twofold: homeowners will not become displaced and the properties can continue to yield tax revenue to the city. Another piece of legislation I would like to consider enacting is to lower interest rates and penalties for city taxes that are in arrears. There are things we can do to show that we care. These are just some of the ideas I have to demonstrate that I can really be committed to my community and to the prosperity of all its stakeholders”, Lauren says.
Lauren is on a journey-the road to the city council. You can join in the movement that is going to move Mount Vernon in the right direction! Log on to laurenforcitycouncil.com to learn more about her and her platform.