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Mineola Village Board Reacts to Tax Cap Bill

Village costs expected to rise by at least an estimated $850,000.

On Jan. 19 the New York State Senate passed legislation which called for a cap on local property tax increases, limiting them from rising more than 2 percent per year.

Wednesday night at the regular meeting of the , Mayor Lawrence Werther described the situation as “a vote that I was sorry to see pass, not that this board has ever been miss in trying to keep taxes low here.”

was , R-Mineola, the former village mayor. 

“If you know the history, eight years ago I came onto the board and Jack Martins was moved up to Mayor and we had a fiscal mess,” Werther said, referring to a prior administration. “We had to take that mess in hand and unfortunately we had to raise taxes a couple of times to bring that mess under control.”

A mechanism exists in the law that would allow local municipalities like Mineola to override the cap through a two-thirds supermajority vote of the board, or four trustees voting in favor.

“The tax cap is something that shouldn’t be imposed especially in light of the fact that there are things that we can’t control and it’s very very difficult to cap which you can’t control,” Werther said.

While voting in favor of the tax cap, Martins stated during his campaign that he desired it be coupled .

Like other municipalities, Mineola is facing increasing costs. The Village of Mineola currently operates on a $21 million budget, half of which comes from property taxes. A $100,000 increase is roughly equivalent to a 1 percent tax increase.

The village’s pension contribution is set to go up in excess of $300,000, the line for tax certiorari settlements is increasing by $200,000, the collective bargaining agreement calls for a $190,000 raise, and the village’s health insurance premiums are being hiked 12 percent, or $160,000.

Mayor Werther stated that there other ways a village can raise revenue besides taxes in the hopes of having a zero percent tax increase or one that is as low as possible.

“We’re studying those very very hard,” he said, not volunteering specifics.

In regards to staffing, Werther said that “the staffing in the village right now is where it should be for ordinary circumstances,” he said.

Hearings on the budget are scheduled to be held after the March elections.

Artie Barnett February 03, 2011 at 01:10 PM
Revenue via enforcement of local codes and laws would be a great start. The entire workforce should have the ability to issue summonses and be directed to cease looking the other way. If you drive around the village today you will see all the areas that could not be plowed due to cars parked on the road...no summonses. Sidewalks uncleared, commercial vehicles parked overnight, snow cleared into the streets..... Should enforcement efforts be ramped up the result would be two-fold, revenue for the village and the return of quality of life for our neighborhoods.
Bob Rabey February 04, 2011 at 10:02 AM
Code enforcement efforts SHOULD indeed be ramped up. Especially with the village's Buildings Department. For far too long, heads have been turned to look the other way. After all, why do we have a village code if things are not enforced? I have personally pointed out specific code violations to the buildings department and the mayors office several times, and nothing is ever done about the violations. The quality of life has suffered as a result of the lack of effort in this area and should be corrected immediately.
John Carway February 04, 2011 at 12:55 PM
Clearing the snow should been a topic priority ....for God . Where is it's going to been put? The Village would need an entire new fleet of dump trucks and front end loaders to cart the stuff away. Where should they put it? About the only place would be either Village Parking Lots or athletic fields. They would been melted in time for football. Or perhaps they should dump it's in the Village Pool. Then tbey wouldn't have to fill it's in June. Then you could address the cost of heating it to the cost of the new fleet of snow removal equipment.
John Carway February 04, 2011 at 12:58 PM
Sorry for typos . Blame it on my phones auto word completion. Very frustrating. Lol.
Jeanne Falabella February 04, 2011 at 02:37 PM
There are municipalities that require home owners to shovel the snow from their sidewalks onto their property as opposed to shoveling it over to the curb. Doing this would make the curbside mounds smaller. In addition, the amounts of snow that have been piled on certain corners are VERY dangerous, for example at 1st Street and Wardwell Road (8 feet high after the last major "surprise" snowfall) and 1st Street at Herricks. Why can't snow from these man-made Kilimanjaros be carted to the picnic area by Wilson Park or to the center of Memorial Park? Nobody's going to be sitting on park benches in this weather. We can't expect ALL the snow to be carted away but there is no excuse for allowing piles higher than 3 or 4 feet to occupy the corners. After all, our Village Code doesn't allow for hedges on corner properties to exceed 4 feet in height. (Unless you own the home at 200 Banbury Road!)
Jeanne Falabella February 04, 2011 at 02:45 PM
Another voice crying in the wilderness!

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