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Nov 24, 2008 5:21 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton Village Mayor slams town board for increase in property taxes in budget

Nov 24, 2008 5:21 PM

Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach lashed out at East Hampton Town Board members at the end of a regular meeting of the village’s Board of Trustees last Friday, saying that he and the village trustees took “stern exception” to the expected tax rate increase in the town’s 2009 budget that was approved on Tuesday, November 18.

The budget will mean that tax rates for town residents will be $28.97 per $100 of assessed property value, an increase of 23.9 percent. But residents in the village, who do not pay for all town services because the village provides them there, will see a town tax hike in increase of 39.2 percent, paying $14.08 per $100 of assessed property value. The owner of a house in the village worth $2 million, with an assessed valuation of $20,000, last year paid $2,026 in taxes; with the town’s increased rate, that figure would go up to $2,816, a $790 increase, according to Larry Cantwell, village administrator.

“This is intolerable and an outright insult to the citizen taxpayers of the village,” Mr. Rickenbach said. There were ways to cut-costs, he said, that the town “failed to avail themselves of,” such as a meaningful reduction of the town workforce.

“We personally hold every member of the East Hampton Town Board responsible for the present fiscal chaos. Whether by commission or omission, they have completely failed in their sworn obligation of elective office to maintain fiscal and fiduciary responsibility to the entire East Hampton community.”

The citizens will have a chance to express themselves about the performance of those in town government when it comes time for them to vote, he said. The next town elections are in November 2009. Three seats on the board will be in play: the supervisor’s and the council seats of Pat Mansir and Brad Loewen. Pete Hammerle and Julia Prince will have two years left on their terms.

Mr. Rickenbach said he had made his statement because he had heard many complaints and comments from village residents about the tax increase.

The Town Board voted by a one-vote margin—3-2—to adopt a $68.5-million budget after many weeks of debate. Julia Prince and Pat Mansir voted no.

Katy Gurley

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You are right. Everyone hired as favors, all new positions created, part timers, & all of Mc Gintees "FRIENDS" should be eliminated. That would save a fortune in payroll and medical benefits. I hope they all THANK him on their way out.
By disappointed (96), wainscott on Nov 25, 08 2:40 PM
East Hampton town should have had a non-political "Town Manager" long ago.
The current bozos on the Town Board are simply the last straw. The Republican bozos we've had in the past are no better.

The Village has it right. The Village Board doesn't really "run the village," they simply have meetings about running the village. Larry Cantwell runs the village in a non -partisan, non-political way.

The residents of the Town of East Hampton deserve better and should insist ...more
By we could run this town! (129), wonderful Wainscott on Nov 26, 08 7:37 AM
For the edification of letterwriter 'we could run this town,' Mr. Bernard and Ms. Weir have been gainfully employed since leaving public office almost five years ago. Mr. Bernard works in Sag Harbor Schools and Ms. Weir at the Long Island Housing Partnership. Both jobs not in public office or government. Mr. Bernard worked in DC for the Office of Management and Budget and was an entrepeneur with his own retail business in the Village of East Hampton. Ms. Weir had a 'REAL' job for over 25 ...more
By Waincott Resident (42), Wainscott on Nov 26, 08 12:21 PM
I have to agree with Rick on this one. It's an intolerable increase. The Village of East Hampton is run by a group of shrewd businessmen. I thought the Sea Spray Inn purchase 30 years ago was a folly. It turned out to be a cash cow. You need a non-political manager like Cantwell in the town.
By BruceB (142), Sag Harbor on Nov 26, 08 9:14 PM