In a unanimous vote, The East Rockaway Village Board officially adopted a budget of $8,708,046 after a public hearing on Monday night at Village Hall. The budget represents the second consecutive across-the-board property tax cut put forth by the board.
The 0.5 percent tax rate decrease, coupled with the 3.5 percent tax cut in 2011-2012, represents one of the largest tax reductions of any municipality on Long Island in recent history, according to a release.
The overall tax levy will see a 0.28 percent decrease from last year, according to an official spread sheet made available to attendees at the meeting.
“When we came into office one year ago, we found a Village Budget that was bloated with extremely high salaries and misdirected priorities,” Mayor Francis T. Lenahan said in the release. “We have worked tirelessly to downsize the Village workforce, cut the waste, and (directed) precious resources to the programs and services that matter the most to Village residents.”
Despite the downsizing and the removal of “waste,” the Village had made clear that the tax cut comes without any reduction in services.
“It was difficult, but we did it,” Deputy Mayor Bruno Romano said of the tax cut. “We didn’t purchase anything we didn’t need for the next budget year. A lot of our taxpayers are out of work (and) their salaries have been reduced. We need to try to work with them and help them out.”
Each board member spoke about how proud they were to be involved in a process that greatly benefits the residents that they serve.
“I am extremely proud to be just a small part of this team,” Trustee Edward J. Corrado said. “I know the hard work that was done during the last couple months and how much effort was put in to meet this deduction.”
Trustee Richard Gogarty agreed with his fellow trustees, pointing out the successful balancing of Village expenditures throughout the board’s administration.
“Our successful fiscal management and careful planning of the expenditures, coupled with a five percent increase in revenue and a sustained village assessed valuation, made this tax cut possible,” Gogarty said in the release.
Later in the meeting,the board approved request to hold its annual Pre-Prom party at Carrigan Point on June 21.
The board also approved six resolutions. Those resolutions included authorizing the Mayor to sign a letter of engagement with Proteus for communications and public relations consulting services and appointing J. Ryan, Esq. as Attorney for the Planning Board.
What do you think of the adopted budget? Tell us in comments.