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Mastic Beach village residents can discuss budget at meeting

Mastic Beach Village Hall is seen on Oct.

Mastic Beach Village Hall is seen on Oct. 2, 2015. Credit: Johnny Milano

Mastic Beach residents will be able to discuss the village’s preliminary 2017-18 budget — which would increase taxes by 45 percent — at today’s 7 p.m. board meeting.

Former Mayor Maura Spery, in her last act leading the village before her term ended last month, proposed the spending plan. If approved, taxes would go up about $95 per homeowner.

Mayor Robert Miller, who will preside over his first board meeting tonight at Village Hall, said officials won’t know whether taxes will increase or decrease for another week, but he welcomed public input on the budget.

Last year, Spery proposed a $4.7 million spending package that would have raised taxes by as much as 125 percent.

The increase was largely due to a $427,000 budgeting error that saw the village overspend approximately that amount on road maintenance.

The board majority rejected Spery’s proposal in favor of a $3.8 million tax-neutral budget that led to layoffs, a steep Moody’s Investors Service downgrade and eventually a vote to disband the village.

Village officials have set a 7 p.m. public hearing on April 25 to again discuss the budget at Village Hall. A special meeting to adopt the budget is scheduled two days later.

Albany-based municipal consulting firm The Laberge Group in November said village residents faced a tax increase of up to 400 percent in 2017-18 had it remained a village.

Residents, in a 1,922 to 1,215 vote later that month, approved a plan to disband the village and rejoin Brookhaven.

Village and town officials say the transition will be completed on Dec. 31.

Mastic Beach officials in February estimated homeowners would pay an additional 22 percent in property taxes, or about $45, once the village returns to the jurisdiction of Brookhaven Town.

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