In one of his last official acts before stepping down, Amityville Mayor Peter Imbert Monday night gave trustees a preliminary budget that includes a 1.97 percent property tax increase.
Budget numbers “are better than I’ve seen them in the last four years,” Imbert told residents in brief remarks at the board meeting. He warned, though, that while the minimal increase “will make taxpayers happy, it will not make the credit ratings agencies happy.”
To stay under the 2 percent state tax levy cap next year, the village would amortize a $500,000 increase in pension contributions over five years, reduce the money it sets aside to cover successful challenges to property assessments from $300,000 to $200,000, and cut $100,000 in spending on various items.
The village also would fill just five of the six open slots for officers in the police department and defer the purchase of a new police car.
Another draft budget, which he said included no cuts, borrowing or deferrals, would raise property taxes by 8.84 percent.
The levy is now $32.13 per $100 of assessed property.
The new board of trustees — led by mayor-elect Jim Wandell, who earns a living doing small business accounting and income tax preparation and made fiscal responsibility a centerpiece of his campaign — will have until the end of April to hash out a final budget.
While credit ratings agencies have hammered the village in recent years for running a deficit and what they say are inadequate cash reserves, a sizable contingent of residents at board meetings has opposed significant tax increases.