Shelter Island’s proposed $10.6 million budget for the 2017 fiscal year calls for a 2 percent increase over last year’s spending plan.
Shelter Island Town Supervisor Jim Dougherty submitted his preliminary budget last week to the town board for consideration. The budget calls for a roughly $200,000 increase from the $10.4 million budget the town adopted last year.
Dougherty said the tax levy also was projected to increase under the new budget by about 3 percent, from $8,034,000 to $8,300,000 in the coming year. The town’s assessed values for 2017 had also risen by 5.63 percent, which Dougherty said would benefit many town taxpayers.
The supervisor credited an uptick in new home construction since the recession for the spike in assessed values. “New houses were being built, which means you have more people paying taxes,” he said.
The budget also is expected to pay for projected hikes in workers’ compensation premiums, union and nonunion compensation increases, $130,000 in road maintenance costs and health insurance premiums for town employees. Town officials expect those premiums, which last year cost the town nearly $1.5 million, to rise between 8 percent and 10 percent.
On the subject of budget cuts and increases, Dougherty said only that there are “many changes” being proposed in the budget that will have to be discussed in the coming weeks.
“We’ll keep meeting with every department head and discussing the changes,” he said.
The town board began budget discussions Thursday with department supervisors, committee chairs and senior management officials. Talks are expected to continue through the month.
A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for 1 p.m. Nov. 9. The town must have a budget approved by Nov. 18. Copies of the budget are available at the town clerk’s office.