November 20, 2013

'Flexible' 2014 Budget To Be Adopted

As The Independent went to press Tuesday, the East Hampton Town Board was expected to adopt its spending plan for next year. By law, the proposed budget must be adopted by November 20 each year.

Barring changes made Tuesday, the final version will call for a tax rate increase of 2.86 percent for property owners outside the villages, and 4.22 percent for those with land inside the boundaries of incorporated villages, with rates at $28.71 per $100 of assessed valuation and $11.42 per $100 a/v respectively.

At just over $73 million the budget stays within the governor's two percent tax cap, with about $20,000 to spare, and is just 1.3 percent higher than the 2013 budget.

As required by law, the public notice for the November 7 hearing on the preliminary budget listed proposed annual salaries for elected officials. Barring changes made yesterday (though none are expected) the supervisor's salary will be $100,776 next year. Members of the town board will make $62,985 each for what's described as a part time job.

Town justices, who serve 26 of 52 weeks, are slated for checks totaling $73,188 each. The town clerk, which is a full time position, will earn a salary of $84,951, the same as the superintendent of highways.

The chair of the board of assessors is tabbed for a salary of $80,836, with her town assessors each making $72,994.

The clerk of the town trustees will be paid $39,047, with the assistant clerk's stipend listed as $9880 and the remaining members of the nine person body set to earn $7410 each next year.

Because the town sought state approval to borrow the money to liquidate the multi-million dollar deficit wrought by disgraced former supervisor Bill McGintee's era, the Office of the State Comptroller must, by law, review the proposed budget each year until the debt is paid. In a letter to the town board dated October 30, OSC officials deemed revenue and expenditure predictions "reasonable."

Supervisor-elect Larry Cantwell said Sunday that he's satisfied with the spending plan. "The budget is fine. There's enough flexibility and I can work with that."


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