The Wiegman Dems have made much of the supposed large tax rate increases during the Greg Schmidt administration of 2005-2009. However, if you review what actually occurred, a very different picture emerges.
Tax Rate Increases Under Mayor Schmidt
Keep in mind that during this period, village elections were held in March and the newly elected officials took office at the beginning of April. Since the fiscal year begins in June and the budget has to be approved in April, the new officials had only a few weeks to review the preliminary budget, prepared by their predecessors, and make any desired changes.
The preliminary FY 2005-2006 budget was prepared under Democratic Mayor Bob Elliott. It contained a proposed tax rate increase of nearly 12.5%. When Mayor Schmidt took office, he made what cuts he could to that budget within the few weeks he had available. The resulting budget, with a tax rate increase of 9.91%, was passed by a 3-2 vote with Mayor Schmidt voting “Yes” and then-Democratic Trustees Leo Wiegman and Charlie Kane voting “No.”
But Wiegman’s negative vote was not because the tax rate increase was too large, it was because the increase was too small. He objected to some of the cuts that Mayor Schmidt had made and wanted them reinstated.
The following year, FY 2006-2007, the budget contained a tax rate increase of 9.43%. It was again passed by a 3-2 vote, but this time, Mayor Schmidt voted against the budget, and Democratic Trustees Wiegman, Gallelli, and Kane voted for it. Thus, the second largest tax rate increase of the Schmidt administration was due entirely to Leo Wiegman and his Democratic colleagues.
|Fiscal Year||Tax Increase||Votes in Favor||Votes Against|
|2005-2006||9.91%||Schmidt, Brennan, Steinberg||Wiegman, Kane|
|2006-2007||9.43%||Wiegman, Gallelli, Kane||Schmidt, Brennan|
|2007-2008||6.97%||Schmidt, Brennan, Konig, Gallelli, Kane||—|
|2008-2009||3.95%||Schmidt, Brennan, Konig, Gallelli, Olver||—|
Democratic trustees are shown in red.
In the March 2007 election, Leo Wiegman was defeated for re-election and did not participate in the budget deliberations of the final two years of the Schmidt administration, though current trustee Ann Gallelli did.
The FY 2007-2008 budget, containing a tax rate increase of 6.97%, was passed by a unanimous 5-0 vote, with Democratic Trustees Gallelli and Kane joining Mayor Schmidt in voting “Yes.”
The FY 2008-2009 budget, the last one passed under Mayor Schmidt, contained an increase of 3.95%, and was also passed by a unanimous 5-0 vote, with Democratic Trustees Gallelli and Olver voting “Yes.”
The preliminary budget for FY 2009-2010 was prepared under Mayor Schmidt. This proposed budget contained a tax rate increase of 1.86%. Mayor Wiegman took office in April 2009 and had a short period to make changes. The final budget adopted by the board included a 1.8% tax rate decrease from the prior year.
The Bottom Line
- Of the four budgets passed during the Schmidt administration, the Democrats supported three of them and passed the budget with the second largest increase over Mayor Schmidt’s objections.
- The reason the Democrats did not support the only budget they voted against was because they opposed cuts that Mayor Schmidt made to reduce expenditures.
- During each year of the Schmidt administration, tax rate increases decreased from the prior year.
- The proposed FY 2009-2010 budget, prepared principally under the Schmidt administration, included a proposed tax rate increase under 2%.