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Tax Cap Talk

The Mineola Village Board enacted the 2 percent tax cap override at last week’s board of trustees meeting, voting 3-0. Trustees Paul Cusato and George Durham were absent from the vote. This will give the village the ability to exceed the tax cap if needed.

 

“We’ve done this every year since the 2 percent cap law has been put on the books,” Mayor Scott Strauss said. “We have no intention this year, just like last year, of going over the cap.”

 

Budget hearings have not been scheduled yet. This is the earliest the village has enacted the override. Last year, Mineola activated the override in April.

 

The final tax cap calculations are set by New York State, but errors can occur, which is why village reps say they voted for the override.

 

“This is a safety valve for us in case some calculations are inaccurate,” said Strauss. ‘We don’t want to get caught up in fines or formula errors.”

 

Mineola resident Chris Wales is curious why an override is needed due to error. “Wouldn’t it just be voided if it were an error,” he said.

 

“Nope,” Strauss said. “You’re held to the numbers you are given and you give back. Some of those numbers are guesstimates and based on some information we don’t even have yet.”

 

In 2003, Mineola had approximately $33 million in bonded indebtedness. The village’s outstanding bonding is now less than $14 million.

 

“The Village of Mineola is on solid financial ground,” Strauss said. “We’ve done really well with the debt management plan that’s been put before us. We’ve done well with the projects that have come before the village. We plan to hold the line this year.”

 

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 by a local legislative body can override it. A local municipality would need to enact it each year to have the ability to exercise it.

 

“It’s the prudent thing to do,” Deputy Mayor Paul Pereira said. “Have this just in case there are issues. Not necessarily on our end but on the state’s end.”

 

Mineola last year adopted a budget increase of .74 percent. The board originally floated a 1 percent increase when it released the tentative figures last April.

 

The 2013-14 budget was certified at $21,718,808. Tax revenue topped off at $13,282,158, a $63,248 increase from 2012-13.

News

In a typical Long Island community packed with houses and backyards, there are a couple of acres of open land of community gardens where people are growing basil and dahlias and roses and cabbages—people like Terry Dunckey of Westbury and Peg Woerner of Great Neck, tending their small plots and helping to promote sustainable and organic practices.

East Meadow Farm, off Merrick Avenue, is owned by Nassau County and operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Nassau County. Previously it was a family-owned farm that was purchased by the county through the Environment Bond Act Program, a $150 million program that called for, among several mandates, the preservation of 400 acres of open space. In 2009, CCE of Nassau was awarded the lease to the land and in January 2012 took possession of the property. East Meadow Farm is a place where we can get the best advice on how to make our gardens grow without harming the earth. Part of the CCE’s original proposal was the establishment of a farmer’s market and, now, the market is open two days a week, a place to purchase organic vegetables and flowers during the growing season.

Drivers—get ready to slow down. Nassau County is currently in the process of installing school zone speed cameras in an effort to enhance safety by encouraging drivers to travel with caution, as well as support law enforcement efforts to crack down on violators and prevent accidents caused by speeding.

Nassau County officials say they’re still investigating locations in the Mineola School District, while leaning towards installing cameras near the North Side or Willets Road schools in the East Williston School District. Cameras could begin operation in September.


Sports

Nobody wants to make excuses, but sometimes when the injury bug hits, it’s impossible to overcome. Mineola Mustangs football head coach Dan Guido, entering his 28th season at helm, knows the injuries were the cause for their first-round defeat at the hands of the West Hempstead Rams last November.

“There was too many injuries on the offensive line last season,” said Guido. “It was supposed to be our strength and it ended up being a weak link by the end of the season.”

Even with those injuries, the Mustangs went 4-4 during the regular season.

The BU15 Mineola Revolution were crowned champions of the Roar at the Shore Tournament 2014 in West Islip on Aug. 10. After dropping the opener 2-0 against North Valley Stream, Mineola bounced back to beat Freeport Premiere 2-1.

The Revolution’s offense exploded in the third game as they beat West Islip 7-0. Mineola’s final game pitted them against Quickstrike FC, which entered the contest without a loss and within a point of winning the tournament.


Calendar

Zoning Meeting

Thursday, Aug. 28

Mineola Village Meeting

Wednesday, Sept. 3

School Board Meeting

Thursday, Sept. 4



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com