Taxes stay flat under proposed Greenport Village budget

Greenport residents may escape a tax hike next year, but the numbers could change before a new spending plan is adopted in April.

Mayor David Nyce released a tentative 2011-12 budget Tuesday morning that would hold the line on taxes at $18.13 per $100 of assessed valuation. His $2.89 million spending plan trims expenditures by $2,000 from this year’s budget. Villagers will be responsible for $919,500 of that spending.

Other revenues come from payments by Southold Town for fire protection in the East-West Fire District, rental of village properties, mooring fees, payments in lieu of taxes from village utility departments and various fees.

The tax rate is based on total assessed valuation of $5.07 million. The mayor says that number will hold through the next year, but could be a looming threat the following year if property values continue to decline. Should that occur, taxes would rise, even if spending does not.

Mr. Nyce declined comment on his budget proposal, saying it still needs tweaking. He has yet to release a capital budget proposal, which covers projects and expenses to be financed over time.

He had previously suggested five potential capital projects, including major repairs to the Mitchell Park marina. The mayor and the trustees have discussed project priorities and the release of the capital budget will indicate which projects the board wants to attack first.

A more than $100,000 federal grant will offset one of the Mitchell Park projects, enabling work to begin shortly on upgrading electrical service to accommodate larger boats. (See separate story on left).

The village is also considering repairs and replacement of some bulkheads and work around the carousel where small pebbles that line the walkways are interfering with the building’s sliding doors.

A $10,000 donation expected from the Friends of Mitchell Park organization that never materialized has been scrapped from the budget’s anticipated revenues column as has an expenditure of that amount.

Village celebrations that were budgeted at $11,200 this year and $14,000 last year would be pared down to $3,000 if the mayor’s budget is adopted. Spending on arts and culture, budgeted at $15,000 in 2009-10 and $5,000 this year, would fall to $3,000.

Groups such as Northeast Stage that have received village funding to support its Shakespeare in the Park program scrambled last summer to find private contributions. Money won’t be forthcoming to support such programs this summer either.

Repairs to sidewalks and curbs remain budgeted at $18,000 in the general fund. But that could rise dramatically should the effort be placed on the list of capital projects.

The budget will be discussed during a public hearing at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 14. The Village Board is expected to adopt the budget on April 25.

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