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Farmingdale Village approves ability to exceed tax cap

Farmingdale Village Hall on July 5, 2011.

Farmingdale Village Hall on July 5, 2011. Credit: Alexi Knock

Farmingdale Village officials have passed a local law permitting them to exceed the state-mandated tax levy limit, though they said they do not plan to pierce the cap this year and simply wanted the safety net afforded by the measure.

“Part of our fiduciary responsibility is to have flexibility,” trustee Thomas Ryan said.

Members of the village board this week voted 5-0 for the ability to top the 2 percent cap for the budget year that begins June 1.

But officials said they do not intend to use the law.

“We’re authorizing that we’re going to do it; we’re saying that we’re not,” Mayor Ralph Ekstrand said.

Farmingdale resident Steve Wilson, who is familiar with the tax-cap process as vice president of the Farmingdale board of education, said the limit is rarely a straight 2 percent, with the state allowing for exemptions in the calculation including health care and pension costs.

“The state has put in this thing . . . hoping people become more cost-conscious to save the taxpayers’ money,” he said. “But then they’re not putting a limit on . . . costs that they have no control over.”

Other Oyster Bay Town villages that have passed similar local laws to exceed the cap this year include Old Brookville, Upper Brookville, Brookville and Lattingtown.

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