Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci released a tentative operating budget for 2022 that maintains current levels of service, has no layoffs and gives raises only to union employees under a contractual agreement.
The $212,841,356 budget is a more than 2% increase over the current $208.2 million spending plan. The average homeowner will pay an increase of $32 in annual property taxes.
"The only raises in the budget are contractual raises, there are no layoffs and the biggest challenge is providing existing services within a Tax Cap, which this budget again achieves," Lupinacci said in an email.
He said he was referring to all services, in particular those the town provides to its more vulnerable populations, including seniors and youth programs.
Lupinacci said the proposed budget falls within the state mandated tax cap for 2022 and does not pierce the tax cap. The New York State Tax Cap Act limits local government’s overall growth in the property tax levy to 2% over the prior year’s levy, or to the rate of inflation, whichever is less, Lupinacci said.
The budget offers a slight dollar decrease for residents who live within the general fund, refuse, highway and part town districts. The part town fund covers services provided to residents who do not live in the town's four incorporated villages and includes transportation and traffic safety, fire prevention services and zoning and building inspections.
Lupinacci said he is continuing cost saving measures already in place such as shared service agreements with other municipalities and focusing on renewable energy, increased use of solar panels and electric car charging locations at town facilities. He said construction should begin on some aspects of the James D. Conte Community Center in Huntington Station and the new animal shelter in Halesite.
The $22.37 million capital budget for 2022, which is separate from the operating budget, includes projects addressing highway infrastructure and park improvements.
These are Lupinacci’s final budgets as he is not seeking reelection this November.
A public hearing on the budgets will be held on or before Nov. 4. At that meeting department heads will give presentations on their budget estimates.
The budget must be adopted by Nov. 20.