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Mineola Village Board Adopts 2012-13 Budget

Village tax rate to fall to 2.18 percent, average increase of $30.

Mineola residents’ village taxes will be a bit lower than expected this upcoming year after the village board approved a lower increase than originally anticipated.

The increase handed down at the April 12 meeting of the came in at a 2.18 percent hike, which equates to a $30 per year increase based on the average tax bill.

The total of the 2012-13 village budget is about $18.86 million. The 2011-12 budgeted totaled $18.55 million, while the 2010-11 budget was only about $600,000 less at $17,904,868. The total tax levy on the village for 2012-13 will be approximately $13.2 million.

Trustee Lawrence Werther pointed out that it was “all the costs that we couldn’t control raised our taxes,” including pension and retirement fund contributions, health care premiums, fuel and the MTA Payroll Tax, which totals $21,500 for the village as a whole – $2,500 for library, $2,000 for the water department, $1,000 for the pool and $16,000 for the general fund, adding .1 percent to the budget.

“The MTA Payroll tax is what drove this,” resident Dennis Walsh said. “If there were no MTA Payroll tax, we would be at 2 percent.”

The village board had unanimously , citing the unknowns facing the village in terms of contributions toward state funds and other rising costs.

The tentative budget as of the April 3 meeting of the village board indicated a or $330,000. The board had voted earlier in the year to override the state’s tax levy cap. At the April 3 budget hearing, also requested that an extra $50,000 be added into the budget to deal with curb repairs.

“We’re maintaining services, actually increasing curbs,” Mayor Strauss said on April 12 at the .

The total amounts of spending by budgetary category is as follows:

  • General government: $4,404,548
  • Public safety: $1,844,080
  • Health: $89,000
  • Transportation: $1,963,814
  • Culture and recreation: $506,306
  • Home and community services: $2,317,042
  • Employee benefits: $3,000,719
  • Debt service: $1,285,664
  • Water fund: $2,624,535
  • Swimming pool: $731,202
  • Library fund: $2,101,216
  • Total amount of expenditures: $21,586,487 

“We’re actually going to get better service without hurting us in the pocket,” Mayor Strauss said. “I asked the departments – – hold the line, not to do increases. We’re doing just that and we’re tasking them to do more with less continually and I certainly appreciate it.”

The will also be enhancing services throughout the summer with longer hours on Saturdays throughout the summer with no effect to the budget by moving lines around internally according to the mayor.

“I guess they saw a need to keep the library open a little bit longer,” he said. “So internally they’re going to probably do without certain things so that they ensure that the library’s open for those that need to or want to come in and read a book, do some research, utilize the computer system, rent a movie.”

Village treasurer Giacomo Ciccone noted several changes in the general fund portion of the budget made since the April 3 meeting including the legal fees and costs line increasing from $300,000 to $350,000 and a corresponding decrease in the line “contingencies – all other” from $514,000 to $464,000.

The village will also have to create a new budget line for a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) in its revenue section of $86,752 due to a reclassification of non-homestead properties by the New York State Assessors. A corresponding reduction also had to be made in the line for non-homestead assessed valuation, moving it from $7,231,753 to $7,226,83,844.

The adjusted base proportions – used for calculating the formula to determine how much of the tax levy has to be charged per property type – also had to be adjusted from .50205 to .50326 for homes and from .49895 to .49674 for non-homes.

Due to the change, the homestead tax rate dropped from 3.671 to 3.655 and the non-homestead tax rate went from 8.989 to 9.026.

“I think that once again, Mr. Ciccone, the mayor and the department heads as you had asked them to give you various scenarios, I think we chose the right course which is to maintain services and to be responsible,” deputy mayor Paul Pereira said. “Anyone can look at a budget and say ‘you could have cut more’ and as you said we can certainly take the ‘slash and burn approach’ but I think that the residents do realize... at the end of the day they do certainly get a big bang for their buck here, this is responsible budgeting, we’re not counting on any income that may or may not hit this year.”

SLJ April 26, 2012 at 01:57 PM
While a trustee can say our taxes went up because of costs we couldn't control, perhaps they shouldn't have gone up, by cutting costs in areas we CAN control. Seems we spend an awful lot of money on things under our control.

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