Restoration and Strengthening of Key Services & Programs
Islip Town Board Members today announced a 2014 Tentative Budget that includes a 0% tax increase and that restores and strengthens key programs and services for residents. The announcement comes after the Board was faced with an unprecedented $26 million deficit 20 months ago, and simultaneously had to deal with the aftermath and destruction from Super Storm Sandy and Winter Storm Nemo. The board unanimously accepted the Tentative budget at its September 24th Town Board Meeting.
With a goal of providing tax stabilization to their constituents and answering the call of the public’s concerns for more law enforcement, Board Members worked directly with Town departments over the last several months to scrutinize the Town’s current financial state, continuing the zero based budgeting approach.
“We were determined to provide some much-needed relief to our taxpayers, who unfortunately have had to bear the never ending tax burdens of Long Island,” explained Councilwoman Trish Bergin Weichbrodt. “We listened to their voices and their concerns, and by working together as a team, were able to give them a budget that not only provides tax stabilization, but that also restores the programs and services that they have long requested from their Town.
“We cut where we could, and grew only in very strategic ways as a direct response to the public’s ongoing requests from their Town government,” said Councilman Steve Flotteron.
Under the Tentative budget -- which totals $124,489,767 – the average homeowner with a house at an assessed value of $400,000, will pay $441.00, in 2014, for their town taxes, the same rate as in 2013. The 2014 Tentative Budget also allows for the restoration of the Bay Constable and Marina Guard programs that were excised in 2013, and looks to strengthen code enforcement efforts for enhanced crackdowns on illegal multi-family landlords, parking scofflaws, residential quality of life violators, and general violations of Town code. Other key components of the Tentative budget include the ongoing push to closeout expired building permits, consolidate municipal space and surplus lands, and develop innovative parking programs in 2014.
“The board members worked side by side throughout the year in a concentrated effort to make every dollar count in 2014,” noted Councilman Anthony Senft. “We are constantly trying to identify new ways to save taxpayer dollars, such as entering into public/private partnerships, which proved very successful in 2013.”
“We have had to take a tough approach in our budgeting process, but by weighing all of our options, are putting forth a solid budget for our residents,” stated Councilman John Cochrane.
The final 2014 budget will be voted on at a public hearing scheduled for Thursday, November 7, 10:30 a.m., at Town Hall.