Fleming Fails to Include Special District Tax Increases in Her Accounting
Odell Calls on News Outlets to Suspend All False Advertising
Wednesday, October 17, 2018… Carmel, NY… Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell released the following statement in response to Maureen Fleming’s false advertising:
“Maureen Fleming, the Kent Town Supervisor and the Democratic candidate for County Executive, has been willfully misleading the public making false statements and promoting false advertising throughout her campaign for County Executive,” declared Odell.  “Since the beginning, Supervisor Fleming has claimed a 0% tax increase during her tenure as Supervisor of the Town of Kent, however, according to the Town of Kent’s own website this is a lie.”
Supervisor Fleming’s first budget was 2015.  According to the 2014 adopted budget (the base budget), the amount to be raised by taxation was $15,057,729 and in the 2018 adopted budget, the amount to be raised by taxation was $15,267,210, creating a tax increase of $209,481.  The tax increase is the result of increases in the Special Districts, specifically fire, sewer and park districts in the Town of Kent.  Additionally, Supervisor Fleming claims a 0% tax increase in the tentative 2019 budget, while acknowledging increases in two fire districts.  However, it should also be noted that the budget will not be adopted until after Election Day.
“It is beyond misleading to claim 0% tax increases when in fact the total amount of taxes to be collected went up by $209,481.  Frankly, it is downright disingenuous.”  Odell continued, “As government officials, we cannot pick and choose which line items we get to include in our budgets and which we don’t.  We have a responsibility to tell the people the truth, which is why budgets should be adopted before Election Day, as they are in county government.”
“Under my leadership, Putnam County has stayed under the tax cap every year, reduced our short- and long-term debt by $40 million, and has the lowest county share of property tax bills in the entire state.  It’s why Moody’s has given us an Aa2 bond rating,” Odell stated.  “Unlike my opponent, I’m comfortable running on my record of running a fiscally responsible government, that grows our economy, protects our seniors, takes on Big Pharma and honors our veterans.”
“I’m calling on all our of local media outlets to immediately suspend the publication of this false and deceptive advertising,” Odell demanded.  “And I call on Maureen Fleming to immediately apologize to the voters of Putnam County for lying about her record as Supervisor of the Town of Kent.  This is about character.  Putnam County deserves leaders who are honest about their records.”
Sourcing:
2014 Adopted Budget (NOTE: This is the base budget to show Fleming’s tax increases)
2015 Adopted Budget (NOTE: This is Fleming’s first budget)
2016 Adopted Budget
2019 Tentative Budget