Residents of Elmont, Franklin Square and West Hempstead all went out on Tuesday and passed the school budgets, even during a time when the national economy is struggling. All of the school districts in the area kept their tax levy increases below 4 percent.
Residents of Elmont passed the budget for the Elmont School District by a 950 to 678 margin. The budget calls for a 2.27 percent tax levy increase. Residents also passed the budget for the library by a 942 to 532 margin.
A standing room only crowd at the Elmont Memorial Library Theatre was the scene for Assemblyman Tom Alfano’s sixth annual “Women of Distinction Awards.”
The ceremony, expanded to include all communities in the 21st Assembly district, honored women for their professional, community and leadership roles. Alfano started the program six years ago to thank women for what he called “their selfless contributions in making our communities and state a better place.”
The MTA will be voting on May 27 on rescinding service cuts proposed as a result of the agency’s budget troubles. Cuts that are expected to be restored include Long Island Railroad (LIRR) weekend service from the West Hempstead station and service to Belmont Park. The MTA has already reduced its proposed fare increases from 27 percent to roughly 10 percent as a result of a bailout plan, passed by the Democratic state lawmakers.
While this may be good news for the MTA, it’s not good for those who will be paying for the bailout — all employers including municipalities and owners of businesses. In order to plug the MTA’s budget deficit, employers will be assessed a tax that amounts to 34 cents per $100 of payroll.
One of the recommendations of the New York State Commission on Property Tax Relief, which was chaired by Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi, was a cap on the increases of school tax levies, which is the amount of the school budget that is raised by tax dollars. The commission recommended a 4 percent tax cap.
Although the New York State Legislature never officially instituted a cap, local school districts including Elmont, Franklin Square, the Sewanhaka Central High School District and the West Hempstead School District all kept the tax levies of their proposed 2009-2010 school budgets under 4 percent (Elmont is at 2.27 percent, Franklin Square is at 3.92 percent, Sewanhaka is at 3.44 percent and West Hempstead is at 3.99 percent).
An alarming trend can be found in analyzing crime statistics in the Nassau County Police Department Fifth Precinct. Residential burglaries have skyrocketed by a whopping 90 percent.
According to the Nassau County Police Department crime statistics, residential burglaries went up from 33 reported in a time period from Dec. 25, 2007 to March 10, 2008 to 63 reported in a time period from Dec. 23, 2008 to March 9, 2009, an increase of 90.91 percent.
Long Island residents will go to the polls on Tuesday, May 19 to vote on the proposed school budgets for the 2009-2010 school year. School boards and administrators have been conscious of the tough financial times facing many taxpayers in putting together budgets for the next school year. None of the local districts were able to hold the line of taxes for their budget proposals.
Some state elected officials had been discussing placing a 4 percent cap on the tax levy, but the state legislature was unable to act on the proposal. However, many local school districts have managed to keep the tax levy increases on proposed 2009-2010 budget under 4 percent.
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