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Supervisor Bosworth & Town Board Unanimously Approve Town’s 2015 Budget

October 30, 2014
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Supervisor Bosworth & Town Board Unanimously Approve Town’s 2015 Budget
Fiscally conservative plan stays under State tax cap

North Hempstead, NY – North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth and all six Town Board members passed unanimously the Town’s 2015 budget, following a hearing last night. The $125 million budget is a balanced and fiscally conservative plan that stays under the New York State tax cap, qualifying most taxpayers for a tax rebate on their 2015 New York State income tax. The budget addresses the need to offset the projected decline in sales tax and mortgage tax revenues and does not impact services for Town residents.

Included in the budget is a 1.03% hike in the General Fund tax levy and 1.45% in the Town outside Village (TOV) tax levy. The budget also calls for a $66 million General Fund, a $35 million TOV and $24 million for the Town’s special districts.

“The support of all six Town Council members speaks to the prudent fiscal management practices shown in this budget,” said Supervisor Bosworth. “Spending has been reduced $630,000 from last year, there is no use of prior year surpluses and the Town reduced its reliance on the state pension loan program. It’s a budget that we can all be proud to present to the taxpayers of the Town.”

According to Town Finance Director and Deputy Supervisor Aline Khatchadourian, the overall tax levy increase, including all of the special districts was 1.55%, significantly lower than the NY State tax cap of 2.09%.

Some garbage districts will find 2015 to be a year of adjustment, however, as Nassau County, which provides assessment information to the Towns, finally complied with a court order to stop assessing taxes for garbage services on utility properties, causing the tax burden to now fall only on homeowners, multi-family buildings and commercial properties. Since there are fewer properties to pay the tax, the remaining properties in the garbage districts will see their bills go up.

The budget for the Solid Waste Management Authority (SWMA) is $19,655,787, an increase of $382,612, or 1.98% over last year’s budget. Even though the Authority is not subject to the New York State tax cap guidelines, the budget still falls under the cap.

The Town’s Parks and Recreation Department will continue to provide world-class concerts, multicultural events and myriad recreational opportunities. Highway Department services such as snow removal, street sweeping and sidewalk repair will continue at current levels, with no cuts to these services that are so important to our “quality of life” and public safety. Programming provided by our Department of Community Services will continue to make life more enjoyable for residents. Services provided to senior citizens through the Department of Services for the Aging (DOSA) and its Project Independence Program will continue to be a national role model by providing numerous services and programs for the Town’s seniors.

The Supervisor stated, “The budget also reflects my stated commitment to pursue environmental initiatives and to secure funding for infrastructure needs. My team has developed a five-year capital plan, which was unanimously approved by the Town Board that seeks to preserve the Town’s resources, both natural, like our waterways and our wetlands, and man-made, like our roads and park structures. This budget supports year two of that plan.”

The Town of North Hempstead recently received a bond rating from Moody’s of Aa1, the highest in the Town’s history and was also given a stable outlook. The stable outlook is based upon Moody's expectation that the Town's conservative fiscal management practices will support healthy operating performance and maintenance of a strong financial position. In addition, recently Moody’s assigned a MIG 1 rating to the Town’s Bond Anticipation Notes (BAN), or short-term borrowing, the highest possible rating attainable.

“These positive ratings translate into lower interest rates and savings for taxpayers,” the Supervisor said of the Moody’s rating.

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