The Village of Westbury Board of Trustees adopted its 2017-18 budget, which reflects a 1.04 percent increase in the tax levy. The village’s tax cap is 1.15 percent.
The budget includes a residential tax rate of .00271 and commercial tax rate of .00574.
According to a report put out by Village Mayor Peter Cavallaro, the typical Westbury homeowner, owning the average home with an assessed value of $376,949 will pay $1,022 for all village government services. That’s slightly lower than last year’s average village tax of $1,023.
“With this budget, the village continues to maintain the lowest per capita village property tax levy for comparable villages,” Cavallaro said in the budget statement.
“The 2017-18 budget process was perhaps the most difficult we have undertaken in many years,” Cavallaro added. “While the state tax cap has been a success in tempering real property taxes, it has placed increasing pressure on village budgets, as finding additional cost savings becomes more difficult each year and as state-mandated costs continue to escalate.”
The board did a comprehensive review and evaluation of each and every village department and service, said Cavallaro, as well as critical scrutiny of each and every expenditure line in the budget to stay within the state-mandated tax cap.
Among the most significant budget drivers were a 9.2 percent increase ($30,623) in the state-mandated village contribution to the state retirement system; a 7.7 percent increase ($55,000) in the cost of employee medical insurance; and 25.4 percent ($230,159) in the village’s debt service.
“While the village’s debt levels are very low, in the past several years the village has taken advantage of the historically low interest rate environment to finance our road resurfacing program,” said Cavallaro. “Through these efforts, we have been able to repave over 27 miles of the village’s 43 miles of roads at very low finance rates.”
In addition to public works projects such as road repair, the budget allocates funds for sidewalk repairs, beautification, tree trimming and planting and $10,000 for the Westbury Arts Council.
“I and the village board have taken every step possible to contain costs, while still providing the high level of services that Village residents have come to enjoy and expect, and to deliver those services in the most cost-effective and efficient manner possible,” said Cavallaro. “To achieve these results, we continue to hold the line on discretionary spending and we have made and continue to seek additional operational efficiencies in all departments.”