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Village Talks Tax Cap Override

In preparation for budget season, the Village of Farmingdale Board of Trustees recently adopted legislation that will allow the village to enact an override of the state’s 2 percent tax levy cap. A procedural requirement, the local law enables the village to decide—by a two-third board majority vote—whether it will exceed the cap, without the threat of a penalty from the state. 

 

“Even though the village board has no intention of going over the 2 percent cap,” said Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand, “we prepare ourselves by passing a law saying we can.”

 

Ekstrand said that the village felt it was prudent to adopt the local law, even though it has no intention of going over the property tax cap in the 2014-2015 fiscal year, as a safety net, should the village need to break the cap. According to Ekstrand, if the village did not pass the local law and found it needed to exceed the 2 percent tax levy threshold, it would be penalized by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. 

 

“We have not gone over the 2 percent cap... since it has been enacted [in 2010],” said Village Trustee William Barnett.

 

Barnett explained that by adopting the local law, the village is given more flexibility to draft its upcoming 2014-2015 budget. He added that since 2008, the village has increased real property tasxes by an average of 1.47 percent annually, and that while revenues decreased, total budget spending was not increased. 

 

Although the village has not presented a preliminary 2014-2015 spending plan, as of press time, village officials proclaim that they have no intention of exceeding the state’s two percent tax levy cap requirement.