Greenport Mayor releases tentative budget without tax hike … for now

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Greenport Village Mayor David Nyce released his tentative budget this week.

Greenport Village residents could experience a déjà vu next month when the Village Board is expected to increase the tax levy after Mayor David Nyce presents a tentative budget without a tax hike.

That’s what happened last year. And it appears things may play out the same way this budget season.

Mr. Nyce released his 2012 – 2013 proposed spending plan this week and, just like last year, it holds the line on taxes.

But Mr. Nyce said he anticipates a repeat of how the budget process unfolded last year since his proposed $2.79 million spending plan doesn’t include reserves to pay down village debt, which stems largely from the development of Mitchell Park.

In 2011, after Mr. Nyce presented a $2.89 million tentative budget without a tax increase, the Village Board ultimately approved raising the tax levy by 2.5 percent. The current tax rate is $18.58 per $100 of assessed valuation.

“This is an ongoing process, open for discussion, and I’m looking forward to hearing input,” Mr. Nyce said. “We’ve got to do something to cover that debt that’s due in 2014.”

If the Village Board decides to increase the tax levy, it may have a tool at its disposal to pierce the state’s new 2 percent cap on the tax levy.

There’s a provision in state law that allows a municipality to raise the tax levy above the 2 percent cap through the adoption of a local law.  The Village Board is expected to discuss this possibility during a public hearing set for Monday.

Mr. Nyce stressed that if the provision is approved, it doesn’t mean the Village Board is obligated to pierce the cap. Enacting the local law gives a municipality the authority to do so if needed, he said.

Under state law, the Village Board has until April 15 to hold a public hearing to discuss its budget. It then has until May 1 to adopt a spending plan.

Scroll down to view the complete tentative budget.

Greenport Village Mayor David Nyce’s 2012 – 2013 tentative budget

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