Glen Cove budget would raise taxes 2 percent

Mayor Ralph Suozzi, of Glen Cove, stands in Mayor Ralph Suozzi, of Glen Cove, stands in front of the garbage transfer station in Glen Cove off Morris Avenue. (Oct. 8, 2012) Photo Credit: Jessica Rotkiewicz

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The proposed Glen Cove city budget will increase 0.2 percent next year, mainly because the cost of garbage disposal is doubling, the mayor said Monday.

The residential tax would rise 2 percent. The 2013 budget plan totals $46,746,289, an increase of $106,182 from this year's $46,640,107.

The 2013 tax levy is $39,831,498, up 1.4 percent, or $558,087 from this year's $39,273,411. That increase is within the state cap, which would have allowed an $800,000 increase with carry-over credits from the previous year, said city Comptroller Sal Lombardi.

The proposed residential tax rate is $.647525 per $100 of assessed valuation, up 2.03 percent from this year's $.634635. The owner of the average home assessed at $461,800 would pay $59.52 per year in additional city property taxes.

The commercial tax rate would be $1.83252 per $100 of assessed valuation, up 1.885 percent from this year's $1.798610.

Lombardi said one of the largest increases in budget costs is the garbage-disposal fee. The city's 20-year contract with its carting company, Winters Brothers, expired this year, and with it a rate that was about half of what other municipalities were paying, he said. The new contract rate nearly doubles what the city had been paying, to $1.5 million. That will increase the budget by $800,000.

Mayor Ralph Suozzi said the new contract calls for recycling all plastic and cardboard. The previous contract did not cover cardboard and some plastics. The city receives some revenue for the recyclables.

Because of the retirements of police officers who will not be immediately replaced, there will be a savings of the salaries and benefits for five or six officers, Suozzi said.

The hearing on the budget will be 7:30 tonight at City Hall. The City Council expects to vote on the budget Oct. 23.

"It's a tight budget," said Suozzi, a Democrat.

But Councilman Reginald Spinello, a Republican, said, "I think there's room to get this even lower." He said he planned to continue going over the budget line by line to find more cuts and additional revenue sources.

"The taxpayers deserve a break and I think we have to give it to them," Spinello said.

Suozzi added that if anything more could be cut, he felt the money should be appropriated to other lines in the budget rather than for reducing it. These areas are cash reserves, the account for repaying successful property tax assessment appeals and other accounts that had been severely trimmed to remain within the state's tax cap and probably needed more of a cushion to avoid having to borrow money later. Last year, the budget included $360,000 for assessment appeals and this year it was reduced to $250,000.

Suozzi said any reduction in the city's long-term $5 million deficit this year would come from sale of city property.

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