The Village of Lindenhurst is raising taxes but staying under the state tax cap for its 2023-2024 budget.
The village board approved the nearly $16.4 million budget last week at a special meeting.
Under the new spending plan, taxes will increase by 1.5% and the tax rate per $100 of assessed valuation will increase 1.97% from $21.30 to $21.72. A single-family home with a market value of about $404,000 will have taxes rise 1.54% or $16.80, from $1,088 to $1,104.80.
“Everyone tried to keep the spending with their departments within reason, especially knowing the kind of year that we had with the economy,” said Mayor Mike Lavorata.
Lindenhurst is still using federal American Rescue Plan money so it didn’t have to use village coffers for major projects such as replacing the senior center's roof and traffic safety improvements, Treasurer Louise Schrader said. Paying off vehicle leases saved more than $106,000, she said, and updating assessments led to a more than $491,000 bump to the revenue stream.
Officials are anticipating revenue will grow by $40,000 from the village's parking meters, rates and hours for which increased in June. The village also projects summer youth recreation fees to slightly surpass pre-pandemic levels and increase revenue by $30,000.
“The biggest challenge was we’re kind of coming out of COVID where we’re starting to see some normal numbers come back … but we’re not yet, so it was still a little bit of a guesstimate,” Schrader said.
The hardest thing to predict was gas prices, officials said. The village didn't anticipate last year’s surge and ended up about $30,000 over budget.
“We tried to be realistic and use last year as a bellwether but put in about 15% higher expecting the gas prices to linger a little higher for a longer period of time,” Lavorata said.
Medicare premiums “went through the roof,” Schrader said, blowing up by 12% to 23% and increasing insurance costs by more than $177,000 for retirees.
The largest department budget increases are for fire and rescue — surging by more than $188,000 — and safety inspection — rising more than $108,000. Officials cited the hiring of more EMTs and a new full-time building inspector to address growing needs.
The village also is increasing salaries for the mayor and board members for the first time in 17 years, with the mayor’s salary going from $13,500 to $18,000 and trustee salaries rising from $8,500 to $12,000.