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No Tax Increase In East Hills Budget

Roslyn Estates board approves new budget

Both the Village of East Hills and the Village of Roslyn Estates boards of trustees approved their budgets for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

The East Hills BOT, once again, adopted a zero tax increase budget, one that totaled $11,163,431 in expenditures.

Mayor Michael R. Koblenz hailed the budget, adding that containing taxes was one of the BOT’s “most paramount priorities.”

Mayor Koblenz said that the “unprecedented” back-to-back zero tax increase was attributed to refinancing outstanding bonds at an overall savings of $1.5 million, requiring Forest Drive to be repaved by a commercial developer at a savings of $700,000, plus blocking commercial tax abatements which he said amounted to millions of dollars, and attrition.

“Even while we controlled costs and implemented cost containment, we will continue to guarantee the same level of excellent services, programs, entertainment, and sports facilities in the future, that we have provided in the past,” Mayor Koblenz claimed.

Similarly, the Village of Roslyn Estates budget will contain, according to Mayor Jeff Schwartzberg, a “very small increase” for the upcoming 2012/13 fiscal year.

The new taxes, he said, will be $14.15 per hundred dollars of assessed value, an increase of just 2.8 percent over the prior year, which had a rate of $13.76.

“With inflation running between 2.9 and 3.0 percent, this increase, in effect, reflects flat taxes in real dollars for the upcoming year,” Mayor Schwartzberg added. “The board worked diligently, along with valuable input from our community, to avoid or minimize any increase while balancing numerous challenges that face the village.”

Mayor Schwartzberg further claimed that although the tax rate increased by a marginal 2.8 percent amount, the actual amount of the village budget decreased from the 2011/12 budget by nearly 2.6 percent. This year’s budget totals $1,361,903, down from last year’s expenditures of $1,398,170.

“This allowed us to achieve an increase in taxes below inflation, even though revenues from nontax sources have decreased and our village is just starting to repay a bond obligation that was created two years ago,” Mayor Schwartzberg said. “Additionally, I am proud to add that last year, for the first time, the board of trustees introduced a number of sound business practices which included establishing capital reserves that will allow us to prepare for future infrastructure maintenance, repair and replacement programs. This upcoming year’s budget continues to build upon those reserves. The actual increase for our property owners will be approximately $90 per household. And over time, our village will be in a much stronger financial position to deal with normal wear and tear issues that will surely arise. We must plan for the future to ensure our village continues to maintain its position as one of Long Island’s most desirable communities.”

Also at the April 16 meeting, Mayor Schwartzberg announced the appointment of Jeffrey Lindenbaum as the village’s new deputy mayor.

“Jeff will be taking over this important role from Dr. Sandy Joel Siff who served in this capacity for the past three years,” Mayor Schwartzberg said. “Sandy did a wonderful job and we are grateful to him for having stepped up to the many challenges that this position presented during his tenure.” Previously, Lindenbaum had served for a number of years on the village’s architectural review board and was appointed to the board of trustees in 2011.

No Challengers In BOE Race

In other news, last Tuesday was the deadline for candidates to file for the Roslyn Board of Education race, one to be held on Tuesday, May 15.

Board members Adam Haber, Dani Kline and David Seinfeld are all up for re-election. No challengers filed to run against them and so all three will face no opposition in their bids for another three-year term each.

The board will approve a new budget at its Thursday, May 3, meeting. That budget will also be voted on in the May 15 election.