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Smithtown facing higher library taxes

Patrons take advantage of the newly renovated Smithtown

Patrons take advantage of the newly renovated Smithtown Public Library's Nesconset branch in Nesconset. (Sept. 27, 2012) Credit: John Dunn

Smithtown library taxes may go up about 2.9 percent next year, in part because of plans to hire the library's first new employees in three years.

Residents of the Smithtown Special Library District are to vote Oct. 9 on the $13.3 million proposed budget and elect two trustees. The polls will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Smithtown, Nesconset, Commack and Kings Park branches.

The district is nearing completion of a $21 million project to replace or renovate the branches. Three have reopened, and officials are awaiting permits to reopen the Kings Park branch.

The proposed budget includes a 7 percent increase in payroll, largely to hire the equivalent of 10 full-time employees to work in the expanded branches, officials said. They will be the library's first new hires in three years, treasurer Joanne Grove said.

The proposed budget, if passed, would raise taxes on the average home assessed at $6,000 to $299.59, up 2.86 percent from the current $291.25.

The tax rate, $48.54 per $1,000 of assessed value, would rise 2.86 percent to $49.93.

The tax levy would increase 2.75 percent.

Officials said the increase is within the district's cap on tax levy increases because of allowable exclusions, such as growth of the district's tax base.

Four candidates are running for two seats on the library's board of trustees.

Incumbent John C. Martins, a project manager at a software company, is seeking re-election.

Also running are Suzanne Mohr, owner of a company that sells computer networking products; Rosalind F. Palazzolo, a retired accountant; and Wayne J. Schaefer, a lawyer. Trustee Charles A. Sauer is not seeking re-election.

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