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Village Taxes: Will Board Override Cap?

The Westbury Village Board, at its first regular meeting of the year Jan. 3,  unanimously passed a local law authorizing the village, if necessary, to impose a property tax levy in excess of the state-legislated two percent cap.

The law, which was first introduced and enacted last year, must be re-enacted in each subsequent year after a public hearing.

“We adopted this resolution last year, which would technically allow us to exceed the state-mandated tax cap, which is typically two percent,” said Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro.

Cavallaro explained that the state tax cap law penalizes municipalities that put forth a budget that either intentionally or unintentionally exceeds the cap if they have not passed a local law authorizing the override.

The mayor strongly emphasized that the board does not intend to exceed the cap in its upcoming budget, which applies to the fiscal year beginning on June 1, 2013.

“I fully expect that our budget this coming year, like last year, will be under the tax cap,” said Cavallaro, reminding the audience that, even though the override provision was passed last year as well, the village adopted a budget with a zero percent tax levy increase.

A resident wanted to know how much FEMA monetary assistance the village is expected to receive in relation to Hurricane Sandy and if the budget would be affected if the village did not receive enough aid.

The mayor did not have an exact number yet but was confident that the village would receive “substantial reimbursement” from FEMA.

“The storm will not have a materially detrimental effect on our budget practices,” said the mayor.

The mayor also updated the community on the progress of the Ellison Avenue bridge replacement project.

“We did announce that there was a commitment by the Long Island Rail Road and there was funding that was committed by the Metropolitan Transit Authority to finally replace the bridge,” said Cavallaro.