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Riverhead Town budget adopted, sans vote

Riverhead Town supervisor Sean Walter

Riverhead Town supervisor Sean Walter Credit: Sally Morrow

Riverhead’s Town Board decided not to vote on Supervisor Sean Walter’s preliminary 2012 budget on Tuesday night, which means that — by law — it becomes the town budget on Sunday.

“I guess it will be adopted as the sun rises this weekend,” Walter, above, joked.

His proposed budget of $51,615,900 is an increase of about 3.3 percent over the current $49,952,020 budget and calls for a tax increase of nearly 2.4 percent. But, Walter says it does not technically violate the state’s 2 percent tax cap, because the extra spending all goes to accounts to cover state-mandated employee retirement costs, which are exempt from the cap.

Board members declined to say publicly why they decided not to take a vote, but some said privately that they do not want to be attacked for violating the state tax cap.

Walter also complained that the state has not fully explained how the cap is to be implemented, and what spending might not be covered by it.

 

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