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Nov 13, 2018 4:33 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Board Set To Vote On 2019 Budget

The Southampton Town Board is expected to vote on the 2019 Annual Budget on Tuesday. GREG WEHNER
Nov 15, 2018 8:51 AM

The Southampton Town Board held its second hearing on Supervisor Jay Schneiderman’s preliminary $102.7 million budget for 2019 on Tuesday, which represents an increase of nearly $3 million in spending.

Compared to the current year’s budget of $99.4 million, next year’s budget is expected to reach nine digits for the first time in town history—a spending increase of $3.3 million, or 3.3 percent.

Included in the budget are proposed salary increases for town officials, with Mr. Schneiderman making $119,490 next year, compared to the $117,147 he made this year, a 2-percent increase. All four Town Board members are expected to make $67,111 next year, and both Town Clerk Sundy Schermeyer and Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor will make $113,655.

Ever since the budget was presented in October, Mr. Schneiderman has boasted that the proposed budget does not raise the property tax rate. He said over the past three years, the property tax rate has continued to decrease, and this year’s 1 percent decrease is more than last year’s reduction.

He has also said the budget decreases the overall town debt by $23 million—the current debt across all of the different town funds is $58 million.

The proposed budget supports numerous capital improvement projects across the town—things like a redesign of the Ponquogue Beach Pavilion, adding bathrooms to Good Ground Park, replacing an aging heating and ventilation system at town hall and creating more access for people at beaches like Hot Dog Beach in East Quogue.

Along with capital improvement projects, the budget also allows for the hiring of a full-time police officer, a parks department administrative assistant, a full-time assistant in the assessor’s office and an assistant town engineer.

Board members are expected to vote to adopt the spending plan at a meeting on Tuesday, November 20, at 11 a.m.

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Supervisor Schneiderman has been in office for 3 budget cycles. 2017-2019. If this budget is passed, the property tax levy to fund the budget will now be $7.7 million or 13% higher than when he first took office. Compared against the 5.5% cost of living increase for the same period, the property tax levy will literally take grocery and mortgage money from senior citizens on fixed incomes to fund top heavy management salaries, pensions and wasteful outside fees. Councilperson Schalera has been ...more
By G.A.Lombardi (371), Hampton Bays on Nov 15, 18 8:13 PM