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Proposed Babylon Village budget calls for 2.01% property tax hike

The Village of Babylon is hoping to make

The Village of Babylon is hoping to make repairs at Argyle Falls.  Credit: Danielle Silverman

For the first time in six years, Village of Babylon residents could see a tax rate increase for the 2021 fiscal year, which officials said would cover repairs needed for the village and pay raises for employees.

If approved by the village board of trustees, the hike of 2.01%, which is still under the state mandated tax cap, would be equal to $.30 per $100 of assessed value. The budget proposed by the village board of trustees for fiscal year 2021 is $11.8 million, up from $11.3 million in fiscal year 2020, which is an increase of just over 5%.

“I think that’s a fair shake after having six years of no increase,” Mayor Ralph Scordino said.

Full-time and part-time employees in the judicial department could see a salary increase of 3%, while employees in the offices of the mayor, treasurer and village clerk could see a 2% increase, according to the proposed budget. Scordino will maintain his salary of $15,000 while the four trustees will see no change in their salaries of $7,500.

The tax increase, however, could change because the proposed spending plan was prepared before the coronavirus pandemic, Village Treasurer Andrew Reichel said.

“At this time my comment would be that we are still in discussions between myself and the board with regards to the anticipated increases in salary codes for the 2020/2021 fiscal year,” Reichel said. “The proposed budget was created prior to COVID-19 and we are still looking at the effect this is going to have on our budget for next year, including our anticipated salaries.”    

The spending plan projects at least $990,000 in income from parking meter fees, up from $910,000 projected in the previously adopted budget. 

Among the repairs, the village is in the process of attempting to restore Argyle Falls. In March, the village received a $328,500 bid from Bay Shore-based Sherwani Contracting to restore the falls. The bid is being reviewed by village officials.

Central garage expenses are budgeted for $296,000, up from $263,600 in the previous budget. Reichel, who helped prepare the spending plan, said garage expenses increased because of aging vehicles and equipment and the rising cost to repair them.

For legal expenses, the village is proposing a budget of $110,000 for the coming fiscal year, up from $80,000 in the current year. Reichel said the expenses are based on ongoing and anticipated legal litigation, but he did not elaborate. Village attorney Gerard Glass could not be reached for comment.   

The budget, which covers June 1, 2020, to May 31, 2021, is expected to be voted on during the April 28 trustee meeting and can be viewed on the village’s website.

Here are some changes in the proposed 2021 village budget.

  • Street maintenance overtime has been budgeted at $155,000, up from $140,000.
  • Employee benefits have been budgeted at $3,170,000, up from $3,148,768.
  • On-street parking personal services has been budgeted at $233,000, up from $190,000.

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