Glen Cove’s City Council on Tuesday approved a $63.3 million budget for 2023 that cuts spending by $1.4 million compared to the current adopted budget.
The spending plan, the first under Mayor Pamela Panzenbeck since her election last year, includes no increase to the residential property tax levy and a 4.4% decrease to the commercial property tax levy. The total property tax levy will decrease to $33.2 million from $33.3 million.
The budget was passed on a 4-2 vote and gets an $800,000 boost with a one-time payment from Nassau County to correct wrongly calculated reimbursements made to the county from PILOT — payment in lieu of taxes — agreements over a decade, Panzenbeck said.
The error was reported in a 2021 audit by the state comptroller’s office of the city’s Industrial Development Agency. That audit found that some of the payments that should have gone to Glen Cove, the school district and library had been paid to Nassau County instead.
Panzenbeck said the city will get the payment from the county in early 2023 and that $565,000 of it is being used in the general fund to help flatten tax rates.
“I wanted to benefit the taxpayers now as a form of tax relief considering the current inflation and the high prices we are experiencing at the gas pump,” Panzenbeck said in the budget presentation at City Hall.
The mayor said she and city controller Michael Piccirillo had been in discussions with the county since the spring about getting the reimbursement for the PILOT funds.
“We felt that it was time, this year, for this particular economy to give that money back to our residents,” Panzenbeck said.
The budget cut $2.2 million in ferry operations that was part of the 2022 budget but which has mostly gone unspent because the ferry service isn’t operating. It was supposed to start in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted those plans.
“We are starting that process over again,” Panzenbeck said about resuming service, which she said she hopes will happen by the end of next year.
Councilman Joseph Capobianco said during the meeting that Glen Cove has had trouble finding operators.
“It’s incredibly difficult to get an operator for the ferry at a reasonable cost,” Capobianco said. “No one wants to partner with us because they’re uncertain about the revenues. They’re uncertain about the ridership.”
CORRECTION; An earlier version of this story misstated the budget vote. The City Council passed the spending plan 4-2.