Written by Rich Forestano Tuesday, 14 January 2014 09:22
The New Hyde Park Village Board voted to grant itself power to exceed the state-mandated 2 percent tax cap on Tuesday, Jan. 7.
The plan is to stay within the set limit, however, Mayor Robert Lofaro said it may be tough this year. The village has not exceeded the cap since its inception in 2011.
“We haven’t pierced the cap,” he said. “We hope to not do it this year and we want to put together a responsible budget.”
New Hyde Park wanted the option available so the village does not end up painted into a corner when it comes time to craft a budget. If any village, without the override goes over the cap that village would incur heavy fines.
The tax cap limits the increase in property taxes each year for school districts and local municipalities to 2 percent, or the rate of inflation. If a community chooses to increase taxes more than the tax cap allows, a 60 percent vote on a school budget or a 60 percent
vote by a local legislative body can override it. A local municipality would need to enact the override each year to have the ability to exercise it.
“This is the process that is required,” said Lofaro. “We haven’t had any comments in the last two years so I think we’re doing something right. I find a lot of villages wait to pass their local laws in February and March.”
Budget numbers for the 2014-15 fiscal year are still being finalized. New Hyde Park operated on a $5.85 million budget in 2013-14.
The village could not raise the levy more than about $90,000 last year. The 2013-14 tax levy increase was $81,314.
Village revenues dipped last year to $1,791,955.28, a 2.71 percent decrease. Employee salaries saw a 2.94 percent increase in previous budget. The village’s employee contract is set to expire on May 30.