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.
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 00:00
The Mineola School District’s 2014-15 draft budget is $87.5 million, a 1.65 percent increase from the 2013-14 budget, which was $86.1 million when it was certified last May.
The budget also includes a 1.46 percent increase in the tax levy, the maximum allowed by the state. The 2014-15 levy sits at $79 million.
District officials said pensions, salaries and special education costs drove the increases. Superintendent Dr. Michael Nagler estimated salaries and pensions would total $400,000 each; special education, $300,000.
Friday, 07 March 2014 00:00
After two denials by John and Theresa Muzio, the Village of East Williston finally inspected 8 Sumter Ave. recently, officials confirmed. The property has been the subject of controversy and public criticism, resulting in numerous hearings and court proceedings.
The village tried to inspect the house on Jan. 14 and 31. The Muzios thwarted their entry each time, calling the police.
“They’re persecuting me,” Muzio said. “They’re harassing me and they destroyed my house. My house froze up since it’s had no heat since 2009. They need a court order before [demolishing the house].”
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
This is the year the program has been waiting for. Head Coach Helms Bohringer, now in his 17th season at Mineola High School, is looking forward to having eight returning seniors from the 2013 varsity baseball team. That squad finished with seven wins, an improvement over the previous year.
The Mustangs have a program that is trending upward and Bohringer is excited for the prospects of this squad.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
Children, teens and adults competed in the recent Winter 2014 Martial Arts Tournament at Charles Water Karate & Fitness in Williston Park.
Williston Park: Mario Lombardo-first place
Williston Park: Gavin Boylan - third place
Williston Park: Gavin Lee - Medal Winner
Matthew Gavagan – Medal Winner