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Tentative Village Budget Raises Malverne Taxes 2.63%

Village board overrides tax cap and presents draft of 2012-2013 budget Thursday night.

After passing a law to implemented by New York State for the second time in two weeks, the Malverne village board unveiled its tentative 2012-2013 budget Thursday night.

The proposed budget, which the board will vote to adopt on April 16, carries a tax levy increase of 2.63 percent, which Malverne Mayor Patricia Norris McDonald called “moderate.” This figure exceeds the limit created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's new tax cap law and therefore, required the village board to pass the local law that gave them the power to override it.

Originally, the village board had planned to present a budget that came under the 2-percent cap, but said they would pass the override anyway to "protect the village" from paying onerous penalties if they mistakenly went over due to a math error. But Deputy Mayor and Village Budget Director Joseph Hennessy said that as they continued to crunch the numbers, it became clear to the board members that "there was no way we could stay under the 2 percent."

The total expenses in the tentative budget are $15,191,486 - $12,233,290 will be raised through taxes and $2,958,196 from other revenue sources. The board is utilizing $845,000 from its fund balance, its reserves, to offset the tax increase to residents. The projected tax rate at this time is $63.92 per $100 of assessed valuation.

How will a 2.63 percent tax levy affect what you pay? To determine your increase, take your assessed value (ie. $6,000) and divide it by 100 and then multiple it by 63.92.

"The board has been faced with the difficult challenge of providing the lowest possible tax increase to our residents while still maintaining the services that you have come to know," Mayor McDonald said, adding that just like residents, she and the board members are taxpayers too.

She explained the many challenges the board faced when preparing the budget including a 48 percent increase in pension costs, a 12 percent increase in liability and fleet insurance, and the MTA mobility tax, which is imposed on all employees. 

"Our revenue sources were again greatly affected with the low interest rates on investments and the drastic drop in mortgage rates," she added.

The total compensation for the board members remained the same - $11,500 for the mayor, $9,000 for each of the four trustees – and nearly all the village’s departments were able to come in with budgets that had zero percent increases.

The following is a list of budget expenditures that did go up from last year. 

  • Special Events: Up 33.33%, from $3,000 to $4,000
  • Village Justice Dept.: Compensation up 2.37%, from $83,965 to $85,960; Overtime up 12.5%, from $8,000 to $9,000; Computer Maintenance up 12.5% from $4,000 to $4,500; Stationary/Supplies up 30% from $1,000 to $1,300
  • Mayor's Dept.: Stationary/Supplies up 100%, from $100 to $200
  • Auditor's Dept.: GASB 45 Audit up 100%, from $0 to $5,000
  • Treasurer's Dept.: Compensation up 2.21%, from $373,683 to $381,949; Premium on bonds up 6.25%, from $1,600 to $1,700; Computer upgrades up 400%, from $200 to $1,000
  • Assessment Dept.: Compensation up 2.49%, from $68,690 to $70,407; Tax Certiorari legal fees up 30.43%, from $23,000 to $30,000; Tax bills data processing up 7.14%, from $1,400 to $1,500
  • Elections: Up 100%, from $0 (The board did not intend to hold an election in 2011-2012 until the need rose for a special election.) to $6,620
  • Village Hall: Cleaning contract up 6.77%, from $5,900 to $6,300; elevator service contract up 10%, from $3,000 to $3,300; A/C unit service contract up 66.66% from $1,200 to $2,000
  • Buildings: Compensation up 3.25% from $145,947 to $155,211; Furniture/fixtures/computers up 20%, from $750 to $900; Computer software up 33.33%, from $1,500 to $2,000; Stationary/supplies up 33.33%, from $300 to $400; Internet service up 11.11%, from $4,500 to $5,000
  • Fleet Insurance: Up 12.44 percent, from $75,421 to $84,808
  • Contingent Account: Up to 102.67%, from $156,194 to $316,563
  • Police Dept.: Holiday Pay up 11.94%, from $127,747 to $143,000; Neighborhood aides up to 1.88%, from $58,542 to $59,648; Terminal leave pay up 8.43%, from $171,114 to $185,552; Gas/oil/grease/anti-freeze up 7.14% from, $28,000 to $30,000; Computer software and upgrades up 1150%, from $200 to $2,000
  • Fire Dept.: Vehicle leasing up 3.75%, from $16,000 to $16,600; Uniforms up 90% from $5,000 to $9,500; SCBAS/New Scott Packs up 230% from $10,000 to $30,000; Telephone up 69.23%, from $6,500 to $11,000; Hose and Ladder Maintenance/Testing up 16.98%, from $5,300 to $6,200; Technology up 16.66%, from $6,000 to $7,000; T.O.H. Fire Services up 5%, from $40,000 to $42,000
  • Safety Inspection: Compensation up 21.3%, from $103,741 to $125,845; Office Assistant up 7.49%, from $54,008 to $58,054; Overtime up 92.3%, from $2,600 to $5,000; Office equipment/computer up 100%, from $0 to $1,000; Plumbing Inspection and exam board up 4.16%, from $7,200 to $7,500; Gasoline up 650%, from $200 to $1,500 
  • Emergency Management: Equipment/furniture up 100%, from $0 to $2,500; Computer equipment up 100%, from $0 to $500; Stationary/supplies up 150%, from $1,000 to $2,500
  • Street Maintenance: Compensation up 3.04%, from $679,464 up to $700,155; gas/oil/anti-freeze up 4.34%, from $46,000 to $48,000; Street signs and poles up 100%, from $1,000 to $2,000; Care of vehicles/equipment up 16.66%, from $6,000 to $7,000
  • Snow Removal: Up 3.75%, from $40,000 to $41,500
  • Off-street Parking: Printing parking permits up 20%, from $500 to $600; Parking lot lease agreement up 38.46%, from $1,300 to $1,800
  • Playground and Rec. Centers: Overtime up 3.75%, from $40,000 to $41,500; Softball field maintenance up 250%, from $2,000 to $7,000; Tree and Beautification up 200%, from $5,000 to $15,000
  • Youth: Contractual Services up 2.8%, from $10,700 to $11,000; Activities and trips up 100%, from $1,500 to $3,000; Tennis program, up 20 percent, from $15,000 to $18,000, but the revenue generated from this self-sustaining program also rose by the same amount.*
  • Zoning: Contractual Services up 25%, from $6,000 to $7,500; trial lawyer services up 60%, from $7,500 to $12,000
  • Planning Board: Legal notices up 150%, from $200 to $500, Stenographer services up 100%, from $1000 to $2000 (Most the costs for legal notices and stenographer services are covered by individuals seeking approval from the planning board.)
  • Garbage Collection: Compensation up 5.42%, from $818,056 to $862,442; gas/oil/etc. up 6.66%, from $30,000 to $32,000; disposal (contracted) up 1.26%, from $395,000 to $400,000
  • State Retirement: Up 8.87%, from $414,623 to $451,439
  • Police Retirement:  Up 39.91%, from $631,080 to $882,975
  • MTA Mobility Tax:  Up 1.57%, from $26,088 to $26,500
  • Fire Service Award: Up 10.16%, from $118,000 to $130,000
  • Liability Insurance: Up 55.68%, from $13,216 to $20,575
  • Dental/Optical Plans: Up 3.79%, from $45,000 to $46,706; Police Plans: Up 6.58%, from $28,000 to $29,845
  • Serial Bonds: Principal up 16.52%, from $605,000 to $705,000; Interest up 32.83%, from $136,432 to $181,229 

On the bright side, the village did save money through its new waste disposal contract and the cardboard recycling program it implemented last spring, which has already generated a savings of $21,500. Total revenue in the tentative 2012-2013 is up 2.09 percent, from $14,880,637.50 in the adjusted 2011-2012 budget, to $15,191,486, off-setting some of the costs listed above.

It also received grants to make improvements to the police department and Cable TV. In the coming year, the village will make enhancements to the police headquarters using funds obtained through a bond, as it is the only village facility that has not been renovated in recent years.

Once it is adopted next week, the budget will go into effect for June 1,2012 to May 31, 2013. Copies of the tentative budget are available for residents at

* A previous version of this article failed to report that the revenue generated by the self-sustaining youth tennis program covered the cost increase. Patch regrets this error.

sally April 14, 2012 at 01:49 AM
This budget, is disgusting! Ok snow removal increase? - - Squinting to see the increase in snow we had this year. Oh thats right you can't see it because it did not snow. Why the increase? A little Reaganesque policies carried out on the FAA are needed in Malverne. Do with less or we get rid of you. Youth tennis program, its $15,000 or we eliminate the program, not give $3,000 more. How can ANY program in the village have increases in the 200% + ranges? What has the LL softball program done to warrant a 250% budget increase? Tree budget increase from $5,000 to $15,000? Fire department telephone up from $6500 to $11,000? Some of these purchase costs, ie the Firedepartment can be put off from one year to the next. New uniforms the same year SCBAS are purchased? When my boiler breaks I don't go out and buy a new car in the same month. Some prudent practices are needed. Come on Malverne Village stop bleeding your residents out of the area. Somebody better start requesting proof/receipts of these costs.
KC April 16, 2012 at 04:44 PM
I agree 100% with Sally!!!
Tara Conry (Editor) April 16, 2012 at 04:55 PM
FYI Sally - I've since learned that the tennis program pays for itself. Although the cost went up, so did the revenue generated by the program.
sally April 17, 2012 at 05:25 AM
I wasn't nit picking the tennis program, it is the budget overall. All I see is the word up. What I would like to know where were (if any) cuts made?
Arena February 12, 2013 at 04:06 PM
I agree with Sally 110% - enough is enough - your going to drive everyone out of Malverne, we just can't afford it anymore
Arena February 13, 2013 at 01:59 PM
I agree with Sally 100%

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