SEA CLIFF VILLAGE BOARD ADOPTS 2014-15 BUDGET; TAXES HELD IN CHECK FOR RESIDENTS, LOWER FOR BUSINESSES
April 28, 2014 -- At its April 21 meeting and budget hearing, the Sea Cliff Village Board voted unanimously to adopt the budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year. The spending plan of 5,533,049, which represents an increase of 2.4% over last year, will result in virtually no change in the average resident's tax bill, with a homeowner whose property was assessed at $600,000 last year seeing a $3.41, or 0.145%, increase for 2014-15. Commercial property owners will actually see a decline of 0.354%.
For the sixth straight year, Mayor Bruce Kennedy pointed out in his budget presentation, the tax levy will come in at or below the "2% tax cap," with that limit having been imposed by New York State for the past three years. This year, the levy will be $21,992 below the limit
The good news for Sea Cliff taxpayers comes about as a result of a variety of factors - most significantly - a reassessment of the American Water Company properties located within the Village on Prospect Avenue and Roslyn Avenue. Although the assessed value of the average Sea Cliff home rose by 4%, the water company's assessment, which was done by utility itself and approved by the New York State Office of Real Property Tax Services (ORPTS), rose by a significantly greater percentage, resulting in American Water taking on a greater share of the tax burden.
Additionally, the spending plan includes decreases in several budgets lines, including the Library (to reflect actual costs), Building repair and Maintenance (due to non-recurring expenses), Public Works, and Debt Redemption.
The most significant increases were for budgeted contributions to the New York State Retirement System (ERS)and the "Local Pension Fund." Although municipalities' required contributions to the ERS declined this year by 0.7%, from 20.8% to 20.1% of payroll, the amount the Village budgeted increased by 22%. Mayor Kennedy explained to Northwordnews that the increase for ERS was to avoid an issue that had occurred last year when the state underestimated the Village's payroll causing an increase in the bill by almost $30,000 mid-year. "To avoid this issue from happening again this year, we increased our payroll estimate by about $200,000." the Mayor said.
The "local pension fund" refers to the Length of Service Award Program (LOSAP) for firefighters. The 28% spike, Mayor Kennedy said, was due to updates to the mortality schedule and the annuities market.
Commenting on the Budget, Mr. Kennedy said "From the day I took office, I have worked diligently to hold the line on property taxes through better management of the village. Sea Cliff is virtually self sufficient and the amount of and quality of village services we provide our residents is in great part what makes this such a great place to live. Working with the Board of Trustees, year after year we look to increase the quality of life of our residents without increasing their financial burden. A lot of the village’s cost are out of our control but we continually manage the costs we can. I am pleased to announce that Sea Cliff residents will receive property tax bills which are practically unchanged from last year."
Click Here for a link to Mayor Kennedy's Budget Presentation.
Click Here for the Budget
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