With no fanfare — and no one from the pubic speaking at the final hearing — the Southampton Village Board unanimously adopted the village's 2012-13 budget Tuesday evening.
The $24.5 million dollar spending plan includes a tax levy — i.e. the amount of cash raised through property taxes — of $18.7 million, up 5.34 percent from the current budget. It was the highest tax levy increase permitted under a New York State-mandated tax cap enacted this year. The tax rate cap has a baseline of 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower, then is adjusted based on factors such as growth in the tax base and spikes in pension costs.
In the prior two annual budgets, the tax levy grew by more than 11 percent.
The tax rate is expected to rise 2.01 percent, to $16.984 per $100 of assessed value. A year prior, the tax rate rose 6.22 percent
The tax rate could be affected by changes in how the state mandates municipalities assess condos, according to Village Administrator Stephen Funsch. Though condos in the village have sold for as much as $1.5 million recently, the village is now required to assess condos based on the rental income they generate instead of sale value.
Areas where the budget increased significantly include the staffing level of 911 dispatchers, up 29.14 percent to $850,715. Funsch said more staff needed to be added to be compliant with a new state mandate.
The Highway Department budget is slated to grow by 8.52 percent, reaching $2.3 million, and employee benefits is budgeted for a 6.18 percent increase, reaching $6.7 million. The Parks Department budget is proposed to grow by 11.57 percent, reaching $910,337.
The village expects the amount of money it takes it from fines and forfeitures will dip by $110,000, or 19.30 percent.