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Jun 11, 2018 3:47 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton Village Board Adopts $22 Million Budget For 2018-19 Year That Will Pierce Tax Cap

East Hampton Village Mayor Paul Rickenbach, East Hampton Village Board Trustee Richard Lawler and Deputy Mayor Bruce Siska. JON WINKLER
Jun 12, 2018 12:26 PM

The East Hampton Village Board has adopted a $22.3 million budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year, a nearly $714,000 increase above the current year’s budget—one that will pierce the cap on tax levy increases by approximately $70,000.

The budget approved on Thursday, June 7, includes an increase in the tax rate from $29.95 to $29.99 per $1,000 of assessed valuation and a tax levy of $13.28 million, a 3 percent increase from the $12.89 million tax levy in 2017-18. The board had held a public hearing and adopted a resolution enabling it to pierce the cap on May 18.

The budget includes a $273,350 increase to the employee benefits budget, a $135,327 increase to the general support budget, a $88,206 increase to the village’s central services budget, and an $82,677 increase to the highway budget.

There were also several decreases, including a $101,443 decrease in public safety expenses, a $79,699 decrease in the law enforcement budget and a $27,237 decrease in the fire department budget.

Village Administrator Becky Hansen pointed out additional spending to complete $1.4 million updates to the village’s dispatch center, including new consoles and portable radios for all village departments. Ms. Hansen said that $400,000 was appropriated for that project in the 2017-18 capital fund, which has now been increased by $550,000 in the 2018-19 budget, adding to a total of $950,000.

The rest of the money for the project, according to Ms. Hansen, will be offset either through the capital reserve fund or the unreserved fund balance at the end of the current fiscal year. The project is estimated to be finished by this fall.

Ms. Hansen also noted that the village will move funds appropriated for the 2017-18 budget into next year’s budget to pay for a bid of $170,000 to demolish a home at 8 Osborne Lane so that the property, which the village purchased in 2017 for slightly less than $900,000, can be used for about 22 new parking spaces. That project is set to begin sometime after Labor Day, Ms. Hansen said, hence the moving of money between budgets for fiscal years, which begin in August.

Unlike with school districts, where a referendum is required to pierce the state cap on tax levy increases, a village may exceed the cap with a local law allowing it, with 60 percent of the board voting in favor.

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