Rockville Centre’s Board of Trustees last week adopted the village’s 2018-19 budget, which stays under the New York state tax cap.
The $45 million spending plan is $67,000 higher, less than 0.2 percent from the previous year. The village estimates $15 million in revenue, which is about $500,000 less than the previous year.
The amount raised by the tax levy is nearly $30 million. The new real estate tax rate of $50 for each $100 of net assessed valuation represents an increase of 1.88 percent from last year, which is about an increase of $73 for the average household.
Of the nearly $45 million budget, more than 70 percent is dedicated to village employee salaries and benefits, which includes Police Benevolent Association and Civil Service Employees Association contracts. There is also a $4.5 million unassigned fund balance.
Employees of CSEA Local 882 which comprises 140 employees who work in a variety of village departments — from senior services to sanitation — demonstrated outside Village Hall before the budget adoption on April 9. Members said their previous contract included 2 percent raises each year after two years of work, but that they were each most recently offered a $250 raise, an increase of about 0.5 percent for many of the workers. Spokeswoman Julie Scully said the village is negotiating to attempt to resolve these issues.
“Holding the line on taxes has been a priority of my administration,” Mayor Francis Murray said in a statement. He noted that health costs are rising by almost $750,000 in 2019. “…With the work of our department heads and village leadership, we again implemented prudent fiscal practices so as not to negatively impact our residents and businesses.”
This is the sixth consecutive year the board of trustees managed to keep the adopted budget under the state’s tax cap, according to the village. It will apply towards the fiscal year that runs from June 1, 2018 through May 31, 2019.
“We will continue to look for ways to reduce costs and bring in additional revenue to the village,” Murray said, “including being aggressive in pursuing grant money, private [and] public partnerships, and gifts to make improvements at little expense to our residents.”