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Brightwaters raises taxes 7.5 percent on 3-2 vote

Brightwaters Village Hall, shown on Aug. 4, 2012,

Brightwaters Village Hall, shown on Aug. 4, 2012, houses the village court, board of trustees meetings, vehicle and traffic department, and more. (Credit: Brittany Wait)

The Brightwaters board of trustees on Wednesday passed in a 3-2 vote a $2.6 million budget, which includes a 7.5 percent tax hike — the village’s first tax increase in 13 years.

The budget represents $98,949 more in spending over the current year’s $2.5 million budget, which village officials said estimates a $200,000 surplus. Homeowners will pay about $84.50 more for every $50,000 of valuation, village officials said.

The tax increase pierced the state tax levy cap, which for Brightwaters was just a shade over 2 percent. But board members said the increase was necessary to repave several damaged village roads. Board members said they anticipated the bulk of the estimated $103,000 raised through the increase, coupled with the surplus, would be used for road paving and pothole repairs.

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Mayor Joseph A. McNulty had proposed a zero-tax-increase budget, which failed in a 3-2 vote. “I’m disappointed that we have a tax increase,” McNulty said.

Trustee Denise Gibson, who voted with the mayor against the increase, said fixing roads is a priority.

“We need to be very careful in how we spend that money,” she said.

John J. Riordan — who voted with Tim Cox in support of the tax increase proposed by Robert W. Fischer — said he plans to introduce a resolution at Monday night’s meeting authorizing the village to purchase a $24,000 paving machine.

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