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Patchogue adopts budget, higher taxes loom

In addition to the mayor's office it houses,

In addition to the mayor's office it houses, Patchogue Village Hall, located at 14 Baker St., is home to the municipality's Justice Court and Traffic Violations Bureau. (April 20, 2012) Credit: Carl Corry

The Patchogue Village Board has adopted a $12.9 million budget that increases the total municipal tax levy $342,000 and raises the average homeowner's tax bill $68.

The spending plan, passed 6-1 on Monday night, is a 3.9 percent increase over the $12.3 million adopted budget last year.

The 2013 budget is $191,000 over the 2 percent cap, which was $150,000, village officials said. Village Trustee Gerard Crean voted against the budget, saying it exceeded the state-imposed tax cap, "and I thought we could have drafted additional revenue from the surplus to cover shortages."

The village has nearly $3 million in surplus.

The average home in Patchogue is valued between $250,000 and $300,000.

Mayor Paul Pontieri defended the override, saying, "Given the uncontrollable costs that you have of pensions and costs from the storm, to have gone over the cap was pretty good."

The village should be proud it kept the surplus, he said.

Village Treasurer Ron Krawczyk described the budget as "financially prudent."

The cap was exceeded in part due to having a $75,281 reduction in tax revenue and having to spend $500,000 on superstorm Sandy, some of which officials hope the Federal Emergency Management Agency will reimburse the village.

Key increases in the spending plan are a $137,000 bond for a recreation center on Bay Avenue and $91,000 in pensions.

The budget calls for reductions on all major purchases, including $250,000 in the highway department for vehicles.

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