The Villages of Amityville and Babylon will hold hearings Monday night on proposed budgets that raise taxes but remain under the tax cap.
Amityville’s nearly $19.6 million budget, which is still being finalized, would raise taxes by 1.98%, according to village Clerk-Treasurer Catherine Murdock. The tax rate would increase from $37.83 to $38.58 per $100 of assessed value. The average homeowner would see their taxes rise by about $72 to $3,705.
Babylon’s nearly $12.3 million proposed budget would raise taxes by 3.12%, said village Treasurer Andrew Reichel. The tax rate would increase from $15.71 to $16.20 per $100 of assessed value. The average homeowner would see their taxes rise by nearly $54 to $1,782.
In Amityville, the biggest increases fall under the police department, which makes up more than half of the budget’s expenses at $9.8 million. Retirement costs are going up from nearly $1.2 million to $1.4 million and health care costs are increasing from nearly $1.5 million to $1.8 million.
“With costs skyrocketing, the health insurance is the killer for us,” said Mayor Dennis Siry.
Helping to offset costs, the department is getting a $210,000 state grant for the purchase of police vehicles, Siry said.
In the building department, plans to hire two quality of life officers and a fire marshal increased expenses by nearly $100,000. The village is expecting to receive $350,000 more in building permit fees, however, due in part to AvalonBay’s permit renewals for a 338-unit rental complex being built. Amityville is also anticipating receiving a more than $341,000 “impact fee” from AvalonBay once they have 50% occupancy.
In Babylon, the biggest challenges this year are an aging equipment and vehicle fleet, Reichel said. Public safety and street maintenance will each have a $90,000 increase for equipment, while parks equipment adds $60,000.
“We’re trying to replace them as quickly and cost-effectively as we can and with the increasing costs of vehicles it makes it difficult,” he said. The village will bond for about $3 million to help with this expense, along with bulkheading and pool work, he said.
The village’s cultural and recreational expenses, which include everything from the beach to the Conklin House, are increasing by more than $179,000. Reichel said this is due to rising costs for playground equipment, which will be replaced at one park, salary increases for summer pool employees and new hires at the golf course.
The hearings at Village Hall will be at 7:30 p.m. in Amityville and at 7 p.m. in Babylon.