The Town of Huntington has reopened its public safety annex...

The Town of Huntington has reopened its public safety annex in Huntington Station, in response to community demands of more safety measures after recent violence in the hamlet. Huntington Town Hall is pictured here. Credit: Carl Corry

The Huntington Town Board has passed a $189 million budget that will raise the property tax levy by 2.9 percent in 2015 -- an increase officials said will amount to an increase of about $60 per resident.

Eugene Cook was the sole 'no' in a 4-1 vote on the budget. He said he objected to the tax levy increase.

"We have to look at things in a different way; in a business manner," Cook said. "Let's cut down our debt, realign how Town Hall works so we can get everything done cheaper and more efficiently."

Several residents expressed frustration, saying even a small increase in costs is too much.

"You want to raise the taxes," said Jim Darcy, of Huntington. "Local [tax] is going up, rent is going up, subway is going up, bridge is going up. My pay is not going up. So you have to use what you've got -- I have to."

Town Supervisor Frank P. Petrone said he understood people's frustration but that it's misplaced.

"It's not the town where they're having their issues with the taxes," he said after the Town Hall meeting Thursday. "We know where the issues lie. We know that 70 percent [of resident taxes] are [from] school districts. Now, I'm not blaming the school districts, I'm blaming New York State, which has never dealt with this."

The budget was largely unchanged from the proposal that Petrone submitted in September. It raises year-over-year spending by $3.8 million, a 2 percent increase from 2014.

The increase in the tax levy will not bust state-mandated limits, so eligible taxpayers will not miss out on rebate checks the state pays out as an incentive for municipalities to stay within the cap.

In 2015, Huntington will spend 2.3 percent more than the town's anticipated revenue. It will pull $3.8 million from the town's reserve funds to avoid borrowing money or further raising taxes.

Petrone said it's critical that Huntington minimize borrowing, because that would harm the town's credit rating.

The biggest areas of spending were the $97 million general fund, the $35.1 million highway fund and the $25.1 million refuse-district fund.

People on Long Island share their thoughts on President Joe Biden's decision to drop out of the 2024 election and the possibility of Vice President Kamala Harris becoming the Democratic nominee. Credit: Newsday/Kendall Rodriguez; Jeff Bachner; File Footage

'I think it's the best for the country' People on Long Island share their thoughts on President Joe Biden's decision to drop out of the 2024 election and the possibility of Vice President Kamala Harris becoming the Democratic nominee.

People on Long Island share their thoughts on President Joe Biden's decision to drop out of the 2024 election and the possibility of Vice President Kamala Harris becoming the Democratic nominee. Credit: Newsday/Kendall Rodriguez; Jeff Bachner; File Footage

'I think it's the best for the country' People on Long Island share their thoughts on President Joe Biden's decision to drop out of the 2024 election and the possibility of Vice President Kamala Harris becoming the Democratic nominee.

YOU'VE BEEN SELECTED

FOR OUR BEST OFFER ONLY 25¢ for 5 months

Unlimited Digital Access.

cancel anytime.