North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jennifer DeSena has presented a tentative $158.4...

North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jennifer DeSena has presented a tentative $158.4 million budget for 2023, a $1.8 million increase over the current one. Credit: Daniel Goodrich

North Hempstead Supervisor Jennifer DeSena is proposing a $158.4 million budget for 2023 that includes no cuts in staff or town services, and stays below the tax cap despite slight tax increases, officials said.

The spending plan is DeSena’s first as supervisor and is a $1.8 million increase over the 2022 budget. It allocates $89.1 million to the town’s general fund, $40.5 million to the town outside village fund and $28.8 million for 20 town-operated special districts.

The general fund tax levy will go up by 2.12%, the town outside village fund will increase by 3.22% and the town-operated special districts will also increase by 1.44%, according to Paul Wood, the town’s director of finance who is also serving as acting comptroller.

An average household in an incorporated village of the town will see taxes increase by $5.38 annually. Homeowners in unincorporated areas will see taxes increase by $28.88.

“The tentative budget prioritizes additional resources for our highways division to expand the department’s annual townwide tree planting program fund by 28% year to year, while maintaining snowstorm-related expenses in the event of a particularly bad winter season,” DeSena said.

The town has operated without a comptroller since the departure of Tania Orenstein in January and is interviewing candidates, DeSena said.

The Department of Parks and Recreation will see a nearly $1 million increase under the tentative budget. Town officials said more than $250,000 will be allocated for “the beautification and maintenance of our parks and infrastructure.”

The supervisor’s office will see an increase of about $197,000, which officials attribute to the loss of a position from the former administration that was not filled. The town board’s budget will increase by more than $500,000 over the 2022 budget, as the “budgeted head count” increases by four to 16, a result of positions being absorbed by the board during the year.

DeSena said under the proposed budget, commissioners and superintendents will not see raises, as "numerous raises have been given out to commissioners throughout the year, more often than not without consulting the supervisor’s Office." She added that it "makes it extremely difficult for my office to craft a budget as these raises lock my administration into paying these salaries in the next year’s budget, regardless of financial implications on taxpayer wallets.”

The proposed budget includes 446 town positions, an increase of 17 positions from the current spending plan. Officials said the increase reflects hires made throughout 2022 and planned hirings for 2023, including four in the parks department.

The town will hold a public work session on Oct. 13 on the proposed budget. A public hearing on the spending plan is scheduled for Oct. 20, and another public work session will be held Oct. 25. The last hearing is Nov. 3, with the board scheduled to vote on the final budget before Election Day.

All hearings are at Town Hall in Manhasset.