Written by Betsy Abraham Friday, 15 February 2013 00:00
The New Hyde Park Village Board voted to grant itself power to exceed the state-mandated 2 percent tax cap on Tuesday, Feb. 5. However, the plan is to stay within the set limit.
Deputy mayor Robert Lofaro explained the measure was just to give New Hyde Park some breathing room. A final vote on the village budget is April 2.
New Hyde Park wanted the option available so the village does not end up painted into a corner when it comes time to put together a budget. If any village, without the override, goes over the cap, that village would incur heavy fines.
The tax cap limits the increase in property taxes each year for school districts and local municipalities to 2 percent, or the rate of inflation. If a community chooses to increase taxes more than the tax cap allows, a 60 percent vote in a school budget vote or a 60 percent vote by a local legislative body can override it. New York City is exempt from the tax cap.
This law is a year-to-year override. A local municipality would need to enact it each year to have the ability to exercise it.
“We can exceed the cap if we need to,” Village Clerk Cathryn Hillmann said. “We did this just to cushion ourselves. We did this last year too but we didn’t actually exceed the cap, so we passed it just in case because if you don’t you, get penalized if you go above. Your budget can only increase 2 percent from one year to the next but if you vote to accept it, you can exceed the cap if you need to. But if you don’t vote for it and you go over it you’re in a bad spot. So we do it kind of just to save ourselves but we always try not to exceed that cap.”
Last month, New Hyde Park received positive reviews from independent auditor William Barrett Rynkar Vail & Barrett. The village had $3.1 million more in assets over liabilities as of May 31, 2012.
The village is required to record a liability for other post employment benefits that is approximately $460,000 to $470,000 annually. This requirement is three years old, and the liability is $1.44 million as of May 31, 2012.
POP Officer Nick Mosesso was the special guest at the meeting, discussing safety and recent crimes in the community.
“Right now, there’s not been a lot of major crime in the area, (only) a couple of residential burglaries that occurred in the past couple of months. There’s been more outside of the village, but within the village it’s been pretty calm and quiet,” Mosesso said.
Mosesso did point out an increase of car burglaries countywide. He urged residents to lock their car doors and not leave valuables in their vehicles.
“People still have this sense that they don’t need to lock their doors. Even if you have your car locked and there are valuables there, it’s going to entice someone,” Mosesso said.
As a POP officer, Mosesso focuses on problem oriented policing and acts as a liaison between the public and the police department. He advised residents to always report a crime, no matter how minimal the loss or damage may be.
“If a car is broken into and the loss is minimal, people don’t call the police. I’m encouraging you to let us know. If no one reports it, we don’t know what’s going on so unless you call us we don’t know what’s happening,” Mosesso said.
The board and Mosesso are investigating ways to resolve resident concerns regarding parking on Albert Street by Memorial Park, and the increase in littering and people loitering after the park is closed.
Trustee Donald Barbieri talked about the village’s plans to add more greenery along Jericho Turnpike as well as the plans for the New Hyde Park Museum, which will be located in a room in Village Hall.
For more information on the New Hyde Park museum, and on how to donate photos or items to the collection, visit newhydeparkmuseum.shuttlepod.org.
Mosesso mentioned the upcoming St. Baldrick’s event, a fundraiser for cancer research where participants shave their heads. The event will be held April 2 at 4 p.m. at Marcus Christ Hall.
The board made a motion to approve Marcus Christ Hall as the polling place for next month’s Village Hall elections. Elections will take place March 19 from noon to 9 p.m.
The next village board meeting is Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. at Village Hall.
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