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Tax Levy Comes In Under New York State Cap

Expenditures in Massapequa budget slightly less than last year’s numbers

­As noted in last week’s issue of the Massapequan Observer, the board of trustees recently approved a 2012-13 budget, one that totaled $6,158,148 in appropriations. That number represents a slight decrease from the $6,165,979 appropriated in the 2011-12 document.

The BOT found savings in its own board of trustees segment. Also, decreases were possible in the purchasing budget, other general government support, control of animals, street lighting, drainage, and the buildings budget. The street lighting budget decreased to $179,000, down from the previous year’s budget of $198,500. Likewise, the buildings budget totaled $171,165, down from last year’s expenditures of $196,165. There were increases in the youth programs budget, plus those concerning street maintenance, snow removal and streets administration.

Total revenues, including the cash surplus, were down slightly in the budget, from $6,244,015 in 2011-12 to $6,158,148 this year. As always, the bulk of revenues are from real estate taxes. Here, there was an increase, from $3,761,762 in 2011-12 to $3,850,425 in this year’s budget. Revenues without the surplus amounted to $5,562,541, down slightly from $5,634,066 in 2011-12. The cash surplus was $595,607 as opposed to 2011-12’s $609,949.

Revenue from non-real estate sources included state aid per capita ($325,576), franchises ($300,000), fines forfeited bail ($180,000), payments in lieu of taxes ($155,000), state aid mortgage tax ($150,000) and permits ($145,000). In addition, $90,000 was raised from parking lots and garages revenue, while that same amount came from what village officials’ term as other unclassified revenues. All of these revenue totals were around the same as last year’s, with increases coming from franchises, permits and other unclassified revenues.

In all, village officials were pleased with the budget. Earlier this year, the board of trustees, as with those on other villages on Long Island, voted to override the 2 percent tax cap if needed. However, fiscal discipline allowed the budgeted tax levy to come in under that mandated tax cap. In his budget message, Mayor James Altadonna Jr. said that despite the override it was always the village’s “original intent” to comply with the cap.  

“The most important objective of local government is maintaining the fiscal health of the community,” Mayor Altadonna said. “Due to economic conditions and costs outside of our control, we have tried to minimize the budget over the past several years. This careful planning and the recent mild winter helped us keep our expenses at a minimum this year.

“The budget we prepared this year maintains all village services at current levels with a modest 2.45 percent increase in the tax rate, from 9.6 percent to 9.8 percent. The increase to each homeowner will be approximately $16.59, assuming the average 7,000 assessed valuation.

“The budget represents a well-planned and conservative estimate of the requirements to provide the best village services available,” the mayor concluded.