Northport Village officials unanimously passed a $22.7 million budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year that includes a 3.08 percent tax levy increase, surpassing the village’s 0.66 percent tax cap.
Taxes will account for $12 million of village revenue.
The increase means a tax levy of $67.15 per $100 of assessed property value — a $2.01 increase compared to 2016-2017.
“While nobody, including we, the members of the board, were happy with the size of the increase, there was agreement that the choices we had made were the appropriate choices,” Deputy Mayor Henry Tobin said, noting the board avoided service reductions.
The new budget, passed last month, represents a $2.3 million, or 11 percent, increase from the current fiscal year’s spending.
“Total spending is up because it’s including the shoreline sewer project, which is a huge infrastructure project,” Village Treasurer Leonard Marchese said.
Much of those costs will be reimbursed through grants or financed through bonds, so they don’t represent as much of a burden on taxpayers as it appears, he said.
Other contributing factors included contractually mandated raises of about 2 percent for blue-collar and administrative workers, and a 3.5 percent raise for police, Marchese said.
The budget’s most expensive line items include $6.8 million for the continuing sewer system overhaul, $4.1 million for employee benefits and $3.7 million for police. The village also added $126,000 to the budget by adding paid paramedics to the volunteer fire department, Tobin said.
Since establishing the cap, New York State had a tax rebate program that gave money back to residents whose local government leaders kept budgets within the tax cap. The state incentive program expired and the new fiscal year is the first in which residents will no longer receive or lose a tax rebate based on their local government’s ability to avoid piercing the tax cap, according to the Division of Budget.
Northport’s new fiscal year begins March 1.