December 19, 2013 | 937 views
Mayor Robert T. Kennedy – Working to create a better Freeport
“We are moving along pretty well,” said Freeport’s Mayor Robert Kennedy referring to the business of being mayor of the second largest village in New York state. When Mayor Kennedy was elected six months ago, he promised to be “more efficient in taking the burden of rising costs off of Freeport’s taxpayers and create more revenue.”
How is he doing so far?
Freeport’s preliminary 2014 budget indicates that the village tax rate will decrease, even with mandated increases of $1.8 million. The tax rate, now at $61.29, will go down to $61.89 (this was the tentative figure as of Friday, Dec. 13).
“We were able to do this because we increased the assessed valuation of the village by almost $1 million,” said Mayor Kennedy, “including addressing [assessment] grievances.” The assessed valuation of the Village of Freeport went from $68,239,520 to $69,653,075.
“We went through the tedious process of re-certifying all tax exempt properties and some of those properties were placed back on the tax roll,” explained Mayor Kennedy.
Revenue also increased at the Freeport Recreation Center by $500,000 with a decrease of $400,000 in expenses. “And we have a brand new gym,” said Mayor Kennedy.
The recently ratified CSEA contract with village employees has also helped keep the tax levy increase below the 2% cap. “They made many concessions and worked with the village,” said Mayor Kennedy.
Development on the Sunrise Highway corridor
The sale and development of village-owned property along the Sunrise corridor is important for the economic development of the village, as well as providing opportunities for recurring revenue by increasing the number of properties on the tax roll, said Mayor Kennedy.
These properties include Plaza West, Plaza East, a second parcel on Sunrise Highway by Goodyear and the Sunrise Meadowbrook parcel