Islip Town board members voted unanimously Tuesday to pass a $228.8 million operating budget for 2018.
Year-over-year spending increases by $1.34 million.
The budget includes a 1.765 percent increase in the tax rate. That amounts to an average of $9.23 more per household in 2018, based on an average assessed home value of $400,000 with annual taxes of $523, officials said.
“The operating budget is as lean as the town can possibly make it without cutting services,” Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter said in a statement. “The Town of Islip workforce still maintains lower staffing levels than its neighboring towns. The Town continues to do its best to deliver services with the fewest possible employees, which means that everyone has to work harder.”
Carpenter said she sought to reduce spending on employees through attrition and holding the line on overtime spending.
“The reality is, that as governments try to reduce their workforce, overtime costs can increase, and as a result, we have to find a balance that takes into account the number of employees needed to accomplish the work required without incurring excessive overtime costs,” Carpenter said.
The budget projects $89.6 million in revenue before taxes. Town officials have budgeted for property taxes to generate $125.4 million in revenues in 2018.
Board members on Tuesday also passed a preliminary $36 million capital budget in a 3-2 vote. The capital budget includes nearly $15 million for standard town maintenance — about $10 million of which will go toward repaving roads and parking lots — through the Department of Public Works.
Board members Trish Bergin Weichbrodt and Mary Kate Mullen voted against the capital budget.
“The capital spending plan was simply too large,” Bergin said after Tuesday’s board meeting. “I’d like to see the borrowing plan lowered.”
Unlike the annual operating budget, the capital budget is a multiyear plan to fund long-term improvements to town facilities, officials said. The work focuses on infrastructure in need of rehabilitation, such as roads, bulkheads, town recreation and senior centers.
The capital budget still requires passage of a bond resolution and a subsequent supermajority vote — approval by at least four of five board members — to spend any of the money.