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Oct 1, 2008 9:50 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Kabot releases proposed budget for Southampton Town

Oct 1, 2008 9:50 AM

The supervisor noted that the Town Board has agreed to a suggestion by Councilwoman Anna Throne-Holst to conduct a “forensic audit” of the $4.5 million police fund deficit. “The overall tax rate obligation for prior operating costs places constraints on the overall tax rate and compliance with the local 5-percent ‘tax cap’ law,” Ms. Kabot said, adding that, in addition to the police and highway funds, the general fund balance has several IOUs from other town funds that restrict cash flow. “Therefore, cutting costs and controlling spending, plus raising property taxes for these various operating funds, is necessary,” she said.

Additionally, revenues from the town’s Community Preservation Fund, financed by a 2-percent transfer tax on most real estate purchases, have fallen sharply: A total of $32 million in CPF revenue is anticipated for 2008, compared to a record $55 million the town collected in 2007.

Next year, Ms. Kabot’s budget anticipates just $30 million in CPF revenue, based on a slowing housing market. In addition, she is allocating $3 million in tax relief payments for eligible school districts charged to the CPF in the Payment in Lieu of Taxes, or PILOT, program, which reflects a $1.8 million decrease in PILOT subsidies for 2009.

“Tough times are afoot for many individuals,” the supervisor said. “Utility, housing, and fuel costs remain high.”

The supervisor is also proposing a 2.5 percent “cost-of-living” increase for all union employees in each of the departmental salaries allocations. “As supervisor, I am reaching out to the union leadership to request a one-year labor-management agreement be authorized for 2009 until the local economy improves,” Ms. Kabot said. The supervisor also proposed the same percentage cost-of-living increase for all administrative town employees.

Ms. Kabot said her spending plan for 2009 mirrors her “core principles of smaller government, less taxes, fiscal responsibility, transparency, and being responsive to true community needs.”

State law requires a budget to be filed in the town clerk’s office by midnight, October 1, and Ms. Kabot’s proposal got in under the wire. The Town Board will hold hearings during the month of October on Ms. Kabot’s plan and must adopt a final 2009 budget by November 20.

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Kabot has done exactly what she criticized Heaney for doing. She used the surplus. When he tried to do that, she accused him of "smoke and mirrors"
Add that to her hiring her campaign manager's husband to a new $70,000 job and hiring her own office public relations assistant for $45,000 ( brand new position) she is exactly like him. Hypocrisy.
By Hampton (50), Westhampton on Oct 1, 08 2:37 PM
With all do respect to the Supervisor increasing discretionary staff at a time when most of us are cutting back signals that she just doesn't get it. The famous line of "just say no" requires more backbone and management skills then town government can muster.
By tom (53), Hampton Bays on Oct 1, 08 9:26 PM
Be assured there is trouble in town hall and jobs will be lost by the end of the year. It better be last in the door, first out!!
By BeachGal (72), Hampton Bays on Oct 2, 08 3:57 PM
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