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Southampton seeks solution to tax cap

Southampton Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said she hopes to avoid layoffs as she prepares the 2012 town budget to make up the $4 million to $5 million shortfall caused by the state’s newly mandated 2 percent tax cap.

She expects to hold three community presentations before a tentative budget is due to the town clerk at the end of September.

“I implore my colleagues of all stripes to come to that table to work with me,” she said. Last year, the majority Republican town board members voted against part of the budget.

The increase in 2011’s tax levy was less than 1 percent. The town lost 70 staff positions through attrition, leaving less flexibility for cuts this year.

While not wanting to eliminate more staff positions, Throne-Holst said she will nonetheless meet with town labor leaders in the next few days to address the possibility.

A new state law limits municipalities and other taxing districts from raising the tax levy — the total amount of money raised in property taxes — by more than 2 percent each year.

Throne-Holst’s budget presentations will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at Flanders Community Center on Sept. 4, Hampton Bays Community Center on Sept. 15, and Bridgehampton Community Center on Sept. 19.

 

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