The Brookhaven Town Board voted 6-0 to adopt a $329 million...

The Brookhaven Town Board voted 6-0 to adopt a $329 million spending plan for 2023. Officials said programs and services are essentially unchanged. Credit: Randee Daddona

The Brookhaven Town Board has approved a $329.7 million budget for next year that raises taxes by 1.92% on the average home.

The board voted 6-0 on Thursday to adopt the spending plan. Officials said programs and services are essentially unchanged.

Town property taxes on the average home assessed at $4,000 will go up by about $10.52 next year, said Brookhaven spokesman Kevin Molloy.

The budget was approved after the board agreed to add $1.1 million to the original $328.6 million spending plan proposed in October by Republican Supervisor Edward P. Romaine.

The additional spending includes $203,297 for three new positions in the town clerk’s office, the town animal shelter and the harbors and waterways department. The parks and finance departments will share a new driver who will be paid $72,000 annually. 

The board also added $137,000 in increased tax revenue and $961,000 in additional anticipated revenue from various sources.

Romaine told Newsday after the vote that the spending plan is “a solid budget” that stays within the 2% state tax levy cap despite higher costs for fuel, equipment and supplies.

“The hard part is that we are facing inflationary pressures that we did not expect to,” he said.

The spending package boosts outlays by 4.1% over the current year’s $316.8 million budget. It includes 2% raises for Romaine and each of Brookhaven’s six council members. Romaine’s yearly pay would rise from $129,000 to $131,580. Council members’ annual salaries would go from $75,238 to $76,742.

Highway Superintendent Dan Losquadro would receive a 5.5% raise, bumping his annual pay from $123,945 to $130,762.

Also included are raises averaging 2% for union employees.

The budget adds $1.2 million to an existing reserve fund to pay for expenses at the town landfill after it closes in December 2024. The additional money would bring the fund’s total to $24.6 million.

The budget also includes $21.1 million for road improvements; $5 million for open-space acquisition; $2.8 million for parks and recreation upgrades; $4.2 million for sewer improvements; and $3.3 million for drinking water projects.

Spending hikes were mostly offset by higher anticipated revenue from mortgage taxes, interest income and building and planning department fees, officials said.

Garbage collection fees will increase next year by 1.86%, from $376 to $383.

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