Dan McNatty on Financial Sustainability

With interest rates low is it a good time to for the Village to borrow? Not necessarily. There are many factors that need to be considered when a Village is deciding to fund expenditure with long-term debt. In addition to the rate, you need to consider what the money is being spent on. If it’s an asset then how long will the asset last for? We don’t want to be paying for items long after their use has ended. It is also important to consider the overall debt levels of the Village and the impact the incremental debt will have on principal and interest costs. According to the audited financial statements of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, there was $20m of debt outstanding in 2011 and $38m in 2016. This is an increase of 90% and does not include the $1.5m of debt issued in respect of the 2016-2017 budget. According to 2014 data from the New York Office of State Comptroller, Croton was ranked 7th (of 81) villages in the region for Debt per Capita with over three times the average level. This is not a ranking we should be proud of. I think it’s time to slow down the levels of debt increases and to acknowledge that we can’t (and shouldn’t) do everything at once. We need to get on a path to financial sustainability and I believe I can help get us there.

Dan McNatty
Candidate for Croton-on-Hudson Village Trustee