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Bellone Balanced Budget Freezes Taxes on East End Residents for Fourth Straight Year, Invests in Job Creation

Categories: County Executive | Author: probinson | Posted: 9/28/2015 | Views: 3524
Budget Helps East End with 2nd Straight Year of Increases for East End Police Departments


(September 18, 2015-Hauppauge, NY) Today, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced his Recommended Budget of $2.917 billion for fiscal 2016 which for the fourth consecutive year, freezes general fund taxes.  This budget continues to demonstrate Bellone’s commitment to treating the East End fairly by increasing revenue sharing with all East End police departments by 13 percent.

 

“This budget continues to move Suffolk County in the right direction by holding the line on taxes, streamlining government and making smart investments in growing our economy,” County Executive Bellone said. “The formula for long term fiscal health is simple—hold the line on taxes, control spending, and grow the economy to create good jobs.”

Bellone recognized that for years, the East End was not treated fairly and was unfairly subsidizing public safety in other parts of Suffolk County.  That is why Bellone worked with the East End’s two legislators, Jay Schneiderman and Al Krupski, on a fair plan that would increase revenue sharing with the East End departments by $1 million per year for three years.  This is the second increase.

 

“Revenue sharing is about fairness and all residents can be assured that public safety dollars are being fairly disbursed to all local police departments,” County Executive Bellone said.  “And I will keep my commitment in next year’s budget to continue to treat the East End fairly, as well.”

 

In all, this budget holds the line on spending by increasing total expenditures by just one percent while protecting and enhancing vital services for Suffolk County residents.  Because Suffolk County is complying with the New York State tax cap program by both holding the line on taxes and demonstrating operational savings through its Government Efficiency Plan, all county households earning less than $500,000 will receive a dollar-for-dollar rebate, so they will not pay a penny more in taxes.

 

County Executive Bellone’s budget demonstrates the continued commitment to bring Suffolk County back into structural balance and the progress which has been made since he entered office.  Nearly 80 percent of the budget mitigation measures are considered recurring measures, a stark difference from 2011 when two-thirds of the measures were “one-shot” actions.  Many of these items were included in the Government Efficiency Plan which allows Suffolk County residents to receive tax rebates, including saving more than $1.5 million per year by merging the redundant offices of Treasurer and Comptroller and transitioning Suffolk County health centers to a private-sector provider, saving approximately $77 million.

 

This budget also contains funding to help implement the Comprehensive Master Plan, which was recently unanimously approved by the Suffolk County Legislature.  This plan, the county’s first since 1971, provides the framework for sustainable growth and resiliency and for economic development that will help to retain and attract businesses and create jobs for Suffolk County residents.

 

A chart outlining the impact on aid to individual police departments follows.

 

Municipality

2014 Payment

2015 Payment

2016 Proposed

Increase '15 to '16

% Change from '15 to '16

Town of East Hampton

$691,117.00

796,017

900,917

104,900

13%

Town of Riverhead

$1,178,655.00

1,357,555

1,536,455

178,900

13%

Town of Shelter Island

$112,661.00

129,761

146,861

17,100

13%

Town of Southampton

$1,943,561.00

2,238,561

2,533,561

295,000

13%

Town of Southold

$885,473.00

1,019,873

1,154,273

134,400

13%

Village of Amityville

$462,502.00

532,702

602,902

70,200

13%

Village of Asharoken

$40,189.00

46,289

52,389

6,100

13%

Village of East Hampton

$69,836.00

80,436

91,036

10,600

13%

Village of Head Of Harbor

$67,201.00

77,401

87,601

10,200

13%

Village of Huntington Bay

$75,766.00

87,266

98,766

11,500

13%

Village of Lloyd Harbor

$166,685.00

191,985

217,285

25,300

13%

Village of Nissequoque

$81,037.00

93,337

105,637

12,300

13%

Village of Northport

$377,512.00

434,812

492,112

57,300

13%

Village of Ocean Beach

$6,588.00

7,588

8,588

1,000

13%

Village of Quogue

$44,801.00

51,601

58,401

6,800

13%

Village of Sag Harbor

$106,072.00

122,172

138,272

16,100

13%

Village of Southampton

$198,309.00

228,409

258,509

30,100

13%

Village of Saltaire

$1,977.00

2,277

2,577

300

13%

Village of Westhampton Beach

$78,401.00

90,301

102,201

11,900

13%

 

$6,588,343.00

7,588,343

8,588,343

1,000,000

13%

Among other initiatives in the budget:

Making Government More Efficient: Suffolk County government today has 1,100 fewer positions than when County Executive Bellone came into office—a reduction of more than 10%— producing a savings of more than $100 million per year.  This budget continues the Continuous Improvement Initiative which empowers county employees and improves productivity through a training program begun this year in partnership with Stony Brook University.

Improving Water Quality: Suffolk County is engaged in the largest expansion of clean water infrastructure in decades by successfully leveraging state and federal aid and has received approval from FEMA to begin Phase I of the project.  Suffolk County has also begun piloting improved onsite systems for homeowners with the goal of approving those systems in 2016 for use throughout the county.

Tax Cut in Southwest Sewer District: This budget contains a 12.5% tax cut for residents of the Southwest Sewer District.  Households in the Islip portion of the district will see their taxes fall an average of $75, while Babylon households will see taxes fall an average of $65.  At the same time as taxes are reduced in the district, $6 million in projects will be paid for out of operating funds, reducing the district’s borrowing and keeping it on strong financial footing.

Investing in our Regional Airport: Suffolk County will embark on a partnership with the Town of Islip to invest $1.5 million in Long Island MacArthur Airport and create new routes to spur economic development as well as better market the airport.

Reducing Crime and Opioid Abuse: By investing in programs which reduce the jail population, Suffolk County was able to temporarily avoid a $300 million expense of building and staffing a new jail.  But that mandate would return if the jail population rises in the years to come.  This budget invests $500,000 to sustain and launch programs that prevent crime, tackle the opioid epidemic, reduce recidivism, and safely reduce our jail population.  It also continues to make critical investments in reducing crime, which is already down by 20 percent since County Executive Bellone took office.

 

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