MPK Village presents first budget draft
By Carolyn James
A proposed spending plan for Massapequa Park Village for the 2013-14 year will raise taxes on a home assessed in the Village at $5,000 by approximately $21 a year. The budget is still under review, however, and Mayor James Altadonna said he and the board will continue to review and refine the numbers and could it bring down before the budget is voted on later this month.
Almost all of the increase is to allow the Village to rebuild its surplus, which was depleted following Hurricane Sandy.
“If there is one thing we learned following the storm it was that having funds available to react quickly was very important,” said Altadonna. “We were able to replace equipment destroyed by the storm, hire contractors, pay employee overtime and get things moving again quickly because the funds were there.”
The new Village budget is actually less than last year at $5.9 million. This year’s budget was $6.4 million.
Savings comes from various line items that have been reduced, including legal fees of approximately $23,000; buildings and grounds of $25,000; central garage at $22,000 and central data processing at $30,000. A savings of $89,000 for contractual services in emergency management is also planned.
Also down is the line item for bond payments, which is dropping from $1.2 million to $900,000. Those savings are the result of the Village paying off a bond this year.
The Village also reduced its snow removal line from $90,000 to $60,00.
Revenue lines for anticipated mortgage taxes remained stable, and the Village will be using $1.8 million in surplus, leaving approximately $157,300 in that line item until, as is being proposed, it is built up throughout the year.
“There is the anticipation that mortgage taxes will start improving,” said Village Administrator Peggy Caltabiano. “But because of the economy, the Mayor has decided to take a conservative approach.”
The tax levy on the proposed budget, which is that portion paid for through real property taxes, is estimated at $4.05 million. It represents an increase of approximately 5 percent over last year’s levy of $3.9 million or an increase of $201,836.
The tax rate increase is approximately 47-cents per $100 in assessed value, going from $9.89 to $10.36.
Since that figure is above the cap set by the state, Village officials opted last month to vote to pierce the cap, which is required under the tax cap mandate. Had they not done that, and the tax levy came in higher than permitted, the Village would have faced financial restrictions and other penalties.
“We knew following the storm that we needed to rebuild the surplus fund and that it would require raising taxes more than allowed under the cap,” said Altadonna,” so we passed the measure. If it were not for the hurricane we would not have had to do that and we anticipate that Village will be in a good place financially and that the taxpayers will not likely see much of an increase, if any, over the next few years.”