The Islip Town Board has approved a $223.5 million budget for 2017, including a 9.9 percent tax hike — an additional $48 a year for the average household.
At the budget hearing Thursday, Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter and council members John Cochran, Steve Flotteron and Mary Kate Mullen voted in favor of the budget. Councilwoman Trish Bergin Weichbrodt voted against it.
Ahead of the budget hearing, Carpenter said the new budget and tax increase were not affected by salary raises given to some senior officials in the 2016 budget.
Instead, the new budget reflects the need “to continue plowing and paving our roads, fixing potholes, really taking care of our parks, marinas and docks, protecting our assets — the taxpayers’ assets — and not neglecting our buildings and infrastructure,” she said. “Our residents deserve nothing less.”
She also pointed out that the average taxpayer’s bill is dominated by school and library taxes, and that Islip town taxes form about 4 percent of the total tax bill.
Some residents supported the new budget as necessary to maintain services, while others decried the tax increase.
Annmarie LaRosa, vice president of the West Islip Board of Education, supported the budget and said the town needs funds for young people to have “good, safe parks, and places to spend an hour or two.”
Andrea Vecchio of East Islip said the Republican-dominated town board “used to stand for small government” and has a responsibility to avoid increasing taxes. “I’m so disappointed in you,” she told the board.
The 2017 budget increases spending by 1.04 percent over the current budget and includes debt service on a $10 million bond for the Bay Shore Fire Department to renovate and buy new equipment, and a new building for the Brentwood and Islip ambulance services.
The town is also planning to hire more staffing in the planning and building departments as megadevelopments Islip Pines and the Heartland Project are slated to begin early phases of construction next year.
“I voted no on this budget because I will continue to maintain my fiscally conservative votes for the taxpayers of Islip,” Bergin Weichbrodt said after the vote.