The Oyster Bay Town Board is expected to pass its 2017 budget Tuesday amid uncertainty whether savings from reduced payroll costs will materialize. The Civil Services Employees Association Local 881 union has yet to vote on a new contract after a vote last month was canceled.
The preliminary budget assumes more than $7 million in savings from layoffs — which could be challenged by the union under a no-layoff clause. Alternately, union members could choose payroll cuts.
The proposed $284.1 million budget would increase the property tax levy by 2.3 percent, an increase that would stay under the state tax cap by using capacity carried over from the current year, as permitted by state law. A twice-postponed hearing on the tax cap is scheduled before the vote on the budget.
Town spokeswoman Marta Kane said Supervisor John Venditto is expected to be at the Tuesday board meeting, which would be his first public appearance since being indicted on federal corruption charges last month.
The 2017 preliminary budget did not include a capital program, something that was typically included in past years.
“I cannot guarantee that there will be a capital program displayed in the 2017 adopted [budget],” Oyster Bay finance director Robert Darienzo said in an email earlier this month. Darienzo said that any capital budget displayed in the operating budget “is unofficial and for informational purposes only.”
Borrowing money has become more expensive for the town and its taxpayers since Standard & Poor’s downgraded Oyster Bay’s credit rating to junk status. The town has about $724.2 million of long-term and short-term capital debt, not including district debt, according to town financial documents.