Written by Rich Forestano Thursday, 27 February 2014 00:00
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.
Saturday, 25 October 2014 00:00
Way before Home Depot or Ace Hardware came into existence, there were little mom-and-pop shops like Munder’s True Value on Hillside Avenue in Williston Park. The hardware store, which opened its doors in 1948, is somewhat of a suburban dinosaur having outlasted several other hardware stores in the area.
“My father, Charles, opened this store in 1948 after returning home from World War II,” said Bill Munder, who took over the store operation seven years ago. “His parents wanted to know his plans after he returned home from the marines and he decided to open this store on Hillside Avenue.”
Friday, 24 October 2014 00:00
The debate over New York State Common Core standards continues, with students from the Mineola School District showing a mild resistance to the exams.
According to the New York State Allies for Public Education, Mineola had some of the lowest numbers, with eight students opting out of the English Language Arts test. However, not a single Mineola student missed the math test. In East Williston, the opt out rates were 75 students in ELA and 60 in math.
Thursday, 23 October 2014 00:00
The New York Cosmos hosted the Mineola Athletic Association’s Soccer Club recently for its penultimate fall 2014 home game. More than 140 members of the MAA soccer club and their families came out on a chilly October evening to show their love of the game. Twenty-two Mineola boys and girls had the honor of escorting the New York Cosmos and Ottawa Fury players onto the field in the traditional “Walk of Champions.”
The Mineola spirit must have inspired the home team, as spectators enjoyed the exciting 2-1 Cosmos victory, with the game-winning goal coming in stoppage time.
Thursday, 23 October 2014 00:00
As a current member of the Mineola High School Varsity Soccer team, senior, Catherine Cunningham has been dominating the scoring for the Mustangs. She has 12 goals and two assists in the last seven games.
In her last week of play alone, she amassed six goals in just three games. As a captain for the last two years, Cunningham has been an All-Conference and All-Class player, leading her team to two victories so far this season.