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Old Brookville OKs going over state tax cap

Old Brookville officials have passed a law permitting them to override the state-mandated property tax cap, though Mayor Bernard Ryba Tuesday said it is too soon to tell whether the village will need to use it.

“We haven’t gone through the budgetary process, so I can’t comment at this time,” he said.
The local law was approved Monday in a 3-0 vote, with two trustees absent.

Albany has limited the annual increase in the property tax levy to 2 percent, though other factors, such as increases in pension costs, are weighed and push some governments’ caps beyond 2 percent.

Old Brookville leaders last year also paved the way to exceed the limit with a local law but ultimately stayed under their 5.82 percent cap.

The new budget year, which begins June 1, might prove different.

“There’s a precautionary aspect” to passing the law, Ryba said, “and there’s the aspect that we might exceed the cap. We do have a road project coming up in the spring.”

He did not immediately know what Old Brookville’s cap is for this year.

The village plans to resurface about a dozen roads at an estimated cost of $2 million as part of a multiyear improvement plan. An engineering firm is currently completing the design phase of the work.

Centre Island, Matinecock, Upper Brookville and Lattingtown are among the neighboring villages that have scheduled public hearings this week and next on their own proposed laws to override the cap.

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