$56 annual tax hike in Glen Cove budget
Glen Cove's 2013 budget, approved by the City Council this week amid scant public comment, will raise the average homeowner's annual tax bill by $56.
The council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve the spending plan after only two residents spoke at the second night of a public hearing.
The budget totals $46,679,913, up 0.085 percent from this year's $46,640,107. The total tax levy is $29,254,584, an increase of 1.82 percent over this year. The tax-rate increase for residential taxpayers is 1.91 percent, and 1.70 percent for commercial taxpayers. The average home is assessed at $461,800.
Mayor Ralph Suozzi pointed out that the budget falls within the state cap on tax-levy increases. It also includes $105,000 in anticipated revenue from recycling, which under the previous garbage contract provided no revenue to the city.
Resident Charles Bozzello questioned whether the council was being fiscally prudent by not including in the budget all of the expected cost of retirement payouts to police officers leaving and, instead, borrowing money to cover the costs. "We're going to pay it back in the future," he noted, and with interest.
Suozzi said having a retirement fund in the budget "would have been a good idea 30 years ago" starting with previous administrations. He has previously said that the city will look into that starting with the 2014 budget.
Suozzi, a Democrat, said, "We are managing our expenses" efficiently.
Councilman Anthony Gallo Jr., a Republican, said of the budget that "we all worked pretty hard on it. I think it's a realistic budget." But he said the council and city employees need to "change the culture" to find more efficiencies in the future.