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Hempstead Village budget has rate hike but no tax levy increase

The Hempstead Village board of trustees passed an $81 million budget last month with no tax levy increase, but residents will see a hike in their tax rate because of decreased assessed valuations in the municipality, the village treasurer said.

The lack of a tax levy increase is a result of using $2.65 million from the village’s fund balance in the 2017-2018 budget, which was unanimously adopted by the five-member board on April 24, Treasurer Ray Calame said. Hempstead’s state-mandated tax cap is 1.15 percent.

“It’s a balanced budget,” Calame said Thursday. “No programs added, none deleted.”

The tax rate is dependent on the village’s assessed valuations, which have dropped in recent years. Calame said that is largely the result of successful property tax assessment challenges

The tax rate per $100 of assessed valuation is $84.19, up from $83.48 in the 2016-2017 budget, documents show. The monthly increase in taxes for a home assessed at $7,000 is $4.14.

Calame said about one-third of the property — including churches, schools, government buildings and property that receives tax breaks — in the village is off the tax rolls.

The state comptroller’s office audited the proposed budget last month and reported that “the significant revenue and expenditure projections in the proposed budget are reasonable.”

“This is a realistic budget based on conservative estimates,” Mayor Don Ryan said in a statement Thursday. “We did not raise the tax levy for residents. We are committed to improving the quality of services we provide, including public safety and roads.”

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