Written by Jill Nossa Friday, 18 October 2013 00:00
Residents will likely see an increase in taxes next year, with the $69,905,527 budget proposed by Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi. Real estate taxes could increase by 1.44 percent, according to the first draft of the budget for 2014 presented at the Glen Cove City Council meeting held on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at City Hall. The residential tax rate would increase 1.67 percent and the commercial tax rate would increase by 3.24 percent.
The property tax levy increase does fall below the state’s tax cap, and increases from $29.3 million to $29.7 million; overall spending would increase by 3.7 percent, as compared with the current $67.4 million budget.
To keep the budget down, the city plans to borrow to pay tax certiorari payments, which the mayor said is not something they like to do, but the settlements are difficult to budget for due to the economy, combined with the tax cap.
The city has seen a loss of more than $478,000 in revenue from city property rentals since 2010; Paul Meli, chairman of the city’s Republican Committee, questioned why. Mayor Suozzi said it was because the city had released Solomon Schechter from their lease at the Coles School.
The question of FiOS service was raised; the mayor said about 80 percent of the service has been “rolled out” and the city was ready to get the other 20 percent “lit” when Sandy hit last year, and delayed the process. He said he thinks it’s about 3 to 6 months away. “I believe the council will be facing a decision soon.”
A second budget hearing will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. Drafts are also available on the website www.glencove-li.us.
The council passed a resolution to install license plate readers on Route 107.
“A lot of residents are concerned about privacy,” said Meli, requesting that the chief of police provide a public presentation on the impact they have. “I want to be assured that my privacy is not infringed upon.”
The resolution passed, with Councilman Reginald Spinello, who is running for mayor against Suozzi in November, opposed.
“I would like to wait until hearing from the chief,” he said.
The license plate readers will be installed along the NYS arterial highway – Route 107 - allowing for completion of spending from a US Dept. of Justice Community Policing Grant procured by the mayor to fund multiple crime prevention measures. The grant also paid for 53 security cameras downtown and in the city’s parking garages, which the mayor says were instrumental in the arrest last month of a 79-year-old man who attempted to abduct a child on School Street.
“We have had great success in working with the NYS Congressional Delegation and federal, state and county agencies in securing grants, more than $38 million, for public safety initiatives like these cameras and license plate readers , infrastructure improvements, and studies to help the city build a better and sustainable future for itself,” said Mayor Suozzi. He added that privacy is not an issue because “when you’re driving down a public road, there’s no expectation of privacy.”