Officials in Nassau County's towns and cities appear to be heeding the call from Albany to stay the line on taxes, proposing budgets for next year clearly drafted with an eye toward staying under the state-imposed tax cap.
The Oyster Bay Town Board on Tuesday adopted a preliminary budget of $276,754,036, down 0.1 percent from this year's budget of $277,053,057.
The tax rates will be set once assessed valuation numbers are received from Nassau County next month. At that time, it will be known whether the tax levy falls within the state tax cap set this year at 1.66 percent for most municipalities.
Town officials said there were no major increases or decreases in any spending area.
The town budgeted $17 million for land sales in the current budget. Since voters approved selling the public works complex in Syosset for $32.5 million in an August referendum, the town is carrying over a surplus of $7 million into 2014. The remaining land sale money is being applied to other expenses in the current budget, town officials said.
The board will hold hearings on the spending plan Oct. 15 at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.
The proposed 2014 North Hempstead town budget, presented to the town board at its meeting Tuesday, represents an increase of 1.76 percent over the current budget.
The proposed tax levy is $72,045,552, an increase of 1.65 percent over the previous year's levy, and just under the state tax cap.
Town spokesman Collin Nash said the town was able to hold the line on spending "despite growing pensions and benefits expenses."
Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi said he will present his budget at a meeting and public hearing on Tuesday. Suozzi said tax increases will be below the 1.66 percent tax cap and that there will be no layoffs.
A second public hearing will be held in Glen Cove on Oct. 22.
This week, Hempstead presented a proposed a budget that included a 3 percent increase in spending, but a reduction in the tax levy, which the town attributed to an expected uptick in revenue. And earlier this year, Long Beach approved a 2013-14 budget with a 1.5 percent tax increase that nevertheless fell under the state tax cap.
With Bill Bleyer, Ted Phillips and Patrick Whittle