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Nissequogue taxes nudged higher

Richard Smith, mayor of Nissequogue, gave the commencement

Richard Smith, mayor of Nissequogue, gave the commencement address at The Knox School graduation ceremony. Credit: Erin Geismar

The Village of Nissequogue is cutting spending -- but taxes are going up, anyway.

Residents of the small, affluent village in the Town of Smithtown can expect to see their tax bills rise 4.75 percent for the 2013-14 budget year. The average home assessed at $5,500 would pay $1,076.35.

The tax hike pierced the state tax cap, said Mayor Richard B. Smith, who was unable to cite the village's cap figure.

Nissequogue's $1.75 million budget, which takes effect June 1, is about $33,000 lower than the current budget.

But the village board raised property taxes to offset the anticipated loss of other revenue such as mortgage tax receipts, which are projected to drop by 44 percent.

The tax rate also grew because of increased state pension contributions and reduced property valuations due to successful assessment challenges, Smith said.

In addition, the village cut funds for road repair in half because of a projected 50 percent drop in state aid.

The board passed the budget unanimously last month, Smith said.

The budget reduces the village's contingency budget by 46.3 percent, and the transportation budget was slashed by 19.7 percent.

Smith said the village has not received $87,000 it sought from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cover Sandy cleanup costs.

For the first time, the village is assessing a franchise tax on homes that subscribe to Cablevision or Verizon, Smith said. The fee, which would cost about $50 for the average home and is expected to raise $35,000 in new revenue, seemed more palatable than increasing property taxes even more, he said.

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