Budget Message from Mayor Patricia McDonald
Tentative Budget for Fiscal Year 2015 - 2016
Good evening. We are holding tonight's public hearing to discuss the tentative budget for the upcoming fiscal year that begins June 1, 2015. Copies of the tentative budget are available at Village Hall.
The tentative budget before you this evening reflects total expenses of $15,678,163. Of that amount, $13,560,988 will be raised through taxation and $2,117,175 through other revenue sources.
Every budget year presents challenges, and this year's process was no exception. Our revenue sources continue to be affected by low interest rates on investments and the drastic drop in the mortgage tax. Our inquiries regarding state aid have indicated there will be no increase. The current budget year saw a drop in state aid by $6,700. The village's share of the Nassau county sales tax has remained flat for the last four years. While the village actively seeks all grant opportunities, this is another area that has been hard hit by the economy.
This board has been faced with the difficult challenge of providing the lowest possible tax increase to our residents while still maintaining the services that you have come to know. Tonight's projected tax rate of $71.19 per $100 of assessed valuation equates to a tax rate increase of 3.78% with no cut in village services. Please note that the proposed increase is lower than last year's increase of 4.96%. To put the projected increase into perspective, if the assessed value of your home is $5,000, your tax bill will increase by $129.
Everyone knows that health costs continue to climb and our health care provider advised that projections indicate a 9% increase. We have seen a slight decrease in pension costs but the drop has not been significant enough to have a major impact on our operating expenses.
Once again, the budget had to include funding for the MTA mobility tax that was imposed upon employers. This amounts to $26,000 over which we have no control.
However, new contract negotiations with our solid waste disposal carrier will result in a savings again this year. With the support of our residents, we have seen the income from cardboard recycling increase slightly but greater cooperation is needed by every resident and business owner in the village.
We have spoken with our current insurance providers and were able to negotiate minor increases in workers' compensation coverage as well as property and liability coverage.
Renovations to the Malverne TV studio were accomplished through funding from Cablevision and Verizon. Senator Skelos' office has been extremely supportive and has again secured a grant for the Malverne Police Department as well as funding for improvements to Westwood Park.
The Board will continue to explore ways to lower expenses and raise revenues in the proposed budget before its adoption on April 16th.