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Spending Down in 2010-2011 Budget

Cash Surplus Helps to Balance The Books

While all the attention has been on the Massapequa School District budget, the Village of Massapequa Park recently approved its own 2010-2011 budget, one that calls for $6,077,951 in expenditures, a decrease from last year’s budget, one that amounted to $6,845,163 in spending.

Upon passage of the budget, Mayor James A. Altadonna issued his own statement:

“The economic crisis that we are experiencing and the continuing budget crisis at the state level has created a significant challenge to the development of a balanced budget this year,” the mayor said. “Utilizing a strict cost-cutting strategy and conservative fiscal policies, the Village Board will…. maintain our current tax rate and use a portion of our surplus.”

In all, the budget, Mayor Altadonna added, decreases expenditures by 12.6 percent. Revenue increases, the mayor said, will increase slightly.

“As the population of the village changes, some residents have been restored to full valuation for tax purposes,” he said. “Other changes, including fluctuations in various exemptions have caused the total Village Assessed Valuation to increase from $38,773,729 to $39,003,297. The…budget represents a well-planned and conservative estimate of the requirements to provide the Village with the best services possible in such trying times.”

With a nearly 13 percent decrease in expenditures, numerous departments are part of the budget’s belt-tightening.

The Streets Maintenance budget, for instance, fell from $714,870 in the 2009-2010 budget to $555,285 in this year’s budget.

Other departments that saw expenditure decreases are: Village Justice, Accounting Division, Assessment, Engineer, Records Retention, Central Data Processing, Refund of Real Estate Taxes, Safety Inspection, Snow Removal, Parks, and Street Cleaning.

Of those departments, Street Cleaning fell from $174,221 to $102,050. The Parks Department took a hit from $84,575 to $30,450. Safety Inspection stands at $204,750, down from $276,700, while the drop in the Engineer budget was steep: From $85,000 to $3,000.

As noted, the Assessed Valuation rate took a small increase, one that amounts to a new tax rate of 9.372 percent per $100 Assessed Valuation.

Revenues from real estate taxes will increase slightly from $3,633,874 in 2009-2010 to $3,654,812. Revenues from sources other than real estate taxes are projected to take a small drop, from $1,998,884 in 2009-2010 to $1.985,417 this year. From that total, $270,000 is expected to come from Franchises revenues, $335,915 from State Aid Per Capita, $200,000 from Fines-Forfeited Bail, $270,000 in Transfer for Debt Services, $175,000 from State Aid-Mortgage Tax, and $162,000 in Payments in Lieu of Taxes.

The village’s prudent fiscal policies have come in handy in dealing with the current economic climate. As Mayor Altadonna noted, the village used monies from its Cash Surplus budget to close the revenue gap. In all, $437,145 from that fund was used to balance this year’s budget.