69° Good Afternoon
69° Good Afternoon
Long IslandSuffolk

Mastic Beach taxes could rise 400% if village government remains

Mastic Beach Mayor Maura P. Spery, second from

Mastic Beach Mayor Maura P. Spery, second from right, speaks during a meeting of the Mastic Beach Village Board on the evening of Sept. 15, 2016. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Residents of Mastic Beach may see their property taxes increase up to 400 percent if voters decide to remain as an incorporated village, officials said.

Mayor Maura Spery, in an interview, said Albany-based municipal consulting firm The Laberge Group will discuss the financial impacts of remaining an independent government Wednesday at William Floyd High School at 6 p.m.

The village board has set a referendum on the question of dissolving the village on Nov. 16. Residents voted for the incorporation of Mastic Beach in August 2010 on a 1,797 to 1,385 vote after expressing concerns over illegal rentals and absentee landlords, among other issues.

If residents vote to dissolve the village it would return to the jurisdiction of Brookhaven Town.

The mayor said taxes could increase between 200 and 400 percent if residents vote to stay a village. If the village is disbanded, she said, property taxes could rise up to 22 percent.

A 200 percent tax increase would increase a homeowner’s tax bill by $300 to $600, Spery said. A 400 percent hike would mean homeowners would pay an extra $600 to $1,200, she said.

The village is required to maintain services such as street sweeping, painting lines and repairing roads and storm drains, which will cause taxes to rise, Spery said.

Trustee Joseph Johnson on Tuesday said the Albany group hasn’t given board members hard financial numbers on what would happen to village taxes if it disbands.

“The mayor is speaking out of turn,” Johnson said.

Spery said she stood by her comments.

Earlier this year, board members shot down Spery’s proposed 125 percent tax increase for a $3.8 million tax-neutral budget. Layoffs occurred soon thereafter.

This will be the second time in a month the upstate group will discuss the financial ramifications of the village disbanding.

Last month, the group informed residents at a meeting that if they decided to dissolve, New York State would provide Brookhaven Town with an annual $1 million tax credit that would go toward lowering property taxes townwide.

Under Article 78A of New York State’s General Municipal Law, the town absorbing an unincorporated village is eligible for the up to $1 million from the Citizen Empowerment Tax Credit. At least $700,000 of that must be used to lower taxes townwide, while $300,000 can be used at the town’s discretion.

Officials have also said that residents would be on the financial hook for any legal settlements levied against the village from multiple pending lawsuits if Mastic Beach is dissolved.

Wednesday night’s meeting is also expected to include discussion of the village’s debt, assets and liabilities.

Residents will not be allowed to speak at the meeting due to many of them speaking off topic and out of turn at the last meeting, village officials said. Written questions will be accepted.


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Latest Long Island News