I want to start off by wishing everyone health and happiness for this year. The year 2022 continued to be a challenge for all of us in the Village of Islandia and across our country. I expect 2023 will present more challenges that we will also overcome.
On the bright side, we once again passed a budget for 2023 that continues to freeze taxes. We also eliminated the garbage tax for the thirteenth year in a row, saving residents an average of $500 per year, compared to what they would expect to pay if they lived outside the Village. This, combined with the 50% tax cuts in 2017 and 2018 still in place, thanks to our Taxpayer Relief Agreement with Jake’s 58, saves residents over $1,100 per year on average, depending on the assessed value of their home. Together, we continue to demonstrate that local village governments can lower the tax burden on residents while, at the same time, improve local quality of life.
At the request of the Governor of New York and Suffolk OTB, the Village has agreed to the installation of 1,000 additional video lottery terminals at Jake’s 58. As part of the agreement, upon completion of the expansion of the hotel and parking garage in approximately two years, revenue for the Village will more than double to $4.6 million per year for an additional 20 years. I am pleased to inform you that this agreement will eliminate the need for Village taxes starting in 2025-2026 upon completion of the OTB expansion. As a result of this extension, the value of our agreement with OTB will exceed $100 million. While I changed my position on this issue, I have always felt that taxpayer money should belong in your pockets, rather than in the hands of the government. This money belongs to you, your children and grandchildren.
In addition, we are also working on an initiative program to help residents with more tax relief. We often hear that the high cost of living and taxes are driving forces for so many residents, especially our seniors, to leave Long Island. I feel that the elimination of Village taxes, the continued elimination of the garbage tax and this initiative program will go a long way in helping to make Islandia one of the most attractive communities to live in on Long Island and will help many of our residents stay in the place where they raised their families and called home. The value of our homes will increase in a TAX-FREE Village.
On the subject of public safety, we restructured our Public Safety and Fire Marshal departments, purchased new vehicles and hired additional officers. I’m sure you have noticed a positive presence in our Village. I am pleased to inform you that the Village will begin a comprehensive street lighting program this year that will go a long way in not only enhancing public safety, but also improving upon the aesthetics of our neighborhoods.
Our park continues to be one of the focal points with respect to improving quality of life in our Village. The Recreational Ball Field is a true state-of-the-art complex featuring ball fields for youth and community baseball and softball games, a concession stand, restrooms, a gazebo, a playground, and an exercise path with ten different exercise stations. This summer, we will be adding two new pickleball courts.
After being under two years of COVID safety restrictions, our events returned to normalcy this year and our residents came out in droves to spend time with their neighbors. Over 500 people attended the Village BBQ and the Fall Festival at First Responders Recreational Ball Field. More than 200 people attended our holiday buffet and tree lighting events at the Village Hall. We are also looking to bring back Music Under the Stars in front of the gazebo and Family Movie Night on the big screen.
Please join me at the “Cup of Joe” events in the future to learn more about your Village.
Thank you again for the opportunity to serve you as your Mayor and remember: this is only the beginning! Please don’t hesitate to email me at email@example.com or call me at (631) 348-1133 with any questions.
Allan M. Dorman