A 3.63 percent tax increase is proposed for the Village of Cedarhurst, officials said, when discussing the tentative budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year. “Based on what we understand, the tax bill for the average resident will increase about $30,” Mayor Benjamin Weinstock said.
Three major expenses have impacted the proposed fiscal plan, he said, and have raised the budget by about $311,000 from the current $5.5 million operating budget. “Healthcare and pension benefits … an increase in aggregate labor cost … and a negotiated increase in our fire services contract,” Weinstock said were the primary drivers of the uptick.
The budget increase is expected to create a shortfall of roughly $250,000, officials said. The deficit will be offset by reserve funds and additional revenue the village expects from building permit fees.
Cedarhurst also has to navigate a reduction in aid from New York state and Nassau County, according to Village Administrator Sal Evola. “State aid was cut by around six-thousand dollars and we’re not getting any sales tax revenue from the county … usually 17-thousand dollars. The county is holding back.” A portion of the budget increases are tied to employee benefits, specifically health insurance, and are out of the village’s control, Evola said.
Village officials did point to infrastructure projects as a positive aspect of the budget. “We’re constantly working to maintain and improve the village,” Weinstock said. “Tree replacements, paving, repairing the floor of the gazebo, [at Andrew J. Parise Cedarhurst Park] fixing its roof and repainting it too.”
Roadwork costing up to $600,000 is planned, Weinstock said, and this summer it’s planned to add drains to parking fields in the village. Field No. 2, between Cedarhurst Avenue and Spruce Street, in particular.
“We try very hard to operate lean and mean,” he said, “to maximize the return on tax dollars, spend carefully and provide the greatest benefit the smallest price.”
The budget will be finalized at Village Hall, 200 Cedarhurst Ave., Cedarhurst, at 8 p.m., on April 23.