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Glen Cove trims proposed tax increase to 2.9%

Glen Cove will use a variety of small cuts and larger funding estimates to limit next year's total tax increase to 2.9 percent, lower than an earlier proposal.

A preliminary city budget, sent to the state comptroller in September, called for a 12.7 percent levy increase. On Oct. 2, Newsday reported city officials had revised that and had tentative plans to raise the levy by about 6.3 percent.

The city's newest budget proposal, unveiled at a hearing Tuesday, would raise taxes by $54 on the average city home valued at $451,500, city officials said. Glen Cove's overall tax levy would be about $28.5 million.

City Mayor Ralph Suozzi and other officials say they've worked to lower the amount - and the resulting tax hikes for residents - since submitting a preliminary budget to the comptroller's office for review, a move that's required because the cash-strapped city relies on bonds to finance its deficit.

City officials say they've made several cuts since submitting their first budget. Glen Cove moved the payment of three police officers' retirement benefits to this year's budget, saving more than $600,000, said city controller Sal Lombardi.

Also, the city won't fill openings for a code enforcement director and a police officer. The police department will still replace three officers.

Glen Cove is now also relying on more optimistic projections than it did earlier. The city expects to get $1.75 million in county sales and mortgage recording taxes - $175,000 more than its first budget proposal estimated.

Lombardi also raised expected revenue from building and plumbing permits by $80,000. "We have several projects in the works" that will need permits, he said. The city council must approve the budget by Oct. 26.

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