The average Patchogue homeowner will pay an additional $96 a year in property taxes after the village Board of Trustees on Monday unanimously voted to adopt a $13.2 million budget.
The board voted unanimously last month to pierce the state’s mandated tax cap.
With its 5.9 percent spending increase over last year, the village will spend $300,000 to pay off a 2002 bond for renovations to the Patchogue theater and for sewer maintenance.
Public safety costs increased $182,000, to $891,000, while sanitation costs increased $87,000, to $1.2 million. Health insurance costs for village employees also rose by $82,000. It wasn’t immediately known what that figure increased to.
The village has approximately $3 million in surplus.
“We do whatever we can to keep taxes down. When we started the budget, we were pulling our hair out,” said Village Treasurer Ron Krawczyk. “This is probably as tight as we can get it.”
“I don’t like 5 percent, I don’t like it at all,” Mayor Paul Pontieri said at the meeting. He compared the yearly increase to “one less pack of cigarettes or one less trip to McDonald’s.”
Last year’s budget was $12.4 million and added $47 to the annual tax bill for a home assessed at $13,000.
“Are we happy? No. But we’ve paved a lot of roads and bought new equipment for the Department of Public Works,” said village trustee Salvatore Felice. “It’s always tough to raise taxes, but you don’t want to operate on a shoestring budget.”
One resident said the budget was unacceptable because most residents don’t have extra income and neighborhoods are becoming more shabby.