Northport's $14M budget exceeds 2% tax cap

Northport Village Board of Trustees Mayor George Doll Northport Village Board of Trustees Mayor George Doll (left) and Deputy Mayor Henry Tobin at a meeting at the American Legion hall where elected town officials and residence gather to discuss the future possible relocation or closing down of Northport's post office on Main Street. (Sept. 12, 2012) Photo Credit: Johnny Milano

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Northport Village has approved a budget for next year that has no layoffs or service cuts, but pierces the state's 2 percent tax-levy cap.

Mayor George Doll said it was the hardest budget he has ever done, primarily because of ever-growing mandated costs such as pensions and health insurance.

"This is a great village and there are things I would like to add . . . [and] I can't do it," Doll said after the board unanimously approved the budget Tuesday.

Next year's approved budget is $14,110,779 -- a 4.24 percent increase from this year. The 2013-14 budget includes a 4.46 percent increase in the tax levy and a 4.97 percent hike in the property tax rate, Deputy Mayor Henry Tobin said.

This equates to an additional $49.70 for every $1,000 a resident paid in taxes in the current fiscal year, he said.

The village's effective tax levy cap is about 2.28 percent, or $233,267. Mandates alone for next year cost a total of $410,418, officials said.

Tobin said next year's budget contains no salary raises, except police contract obligations. But he said the overall cost of police salaries is declining because of retirees and new hires starting at a lower pay grade.

He also said the village has put off repairs and purchasing new equipment and hasn't kept some seasonal jobs, such as workers to tend parks. Some costs from superstorm Sandy, such as accrued employee compensatory time, are in the new budget, but officials expect the majority will be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, he said.

He said the goal when devising the budget was "to maintain services, meet obligations and to keep taxes as low as possible."

The village did that, he said, "[but] it hurts that we have to raise taxes at all."

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