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Villages OK tax cap overrides

The villages of Williston Park and Plandome Manor have joined a growing list of municipalities that have authorized an override of the state tax cap, if necessary.

Williston Park approved a local law Tuesday night by a vote of 3-1, with one trustee not present, village officials said. The village can exceed the new state 2 percent tax levy cap for its next budget.

“We believe the village can come in under the 2 percent cap, but there are penalties if you even make an innocent mistake on your calculations,” said Mayor Paul Ehrbar. “We want to make sure we don’t put ourselves in that position.”

Ehrbar said the budget is under pressure from growing pension and health benefits costs, but the village has a fund balance it can dip into.

In Plandome Manor, the village — also on Tuesday night — unanimously approved a bill to override the cap if necessary, said Village Clerk Joanna Palumbo.

Mayor Barbara Donno said last week that the village was just beginning its budget process. A public hearing on the budget will be held April 17.

Other villages are still considering laws to exceed the cap. The Village of Great Neck Estates has scheduled a public hearing for Feb. 13 on its proposal to exceed the cap if necessary.

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said last week that 177 local governments statewide, or 22 percent, had passed laws to override the tax cap so far. Those on Long Island include the Town of North Hempstead, which in November approved a budget with a tax levy increase of 2.8 percent, and more than 20 fire districts, according to the comptroller’s office.

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