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Aug 5, 2016 2:34 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Voters Approve Hampton Bays Library's $2.23 Million Budget

Hampton Bays Library Director Susan LaVista encourages all hamlet taxpayers to vote for the library budget on Tuesday. AMANDA BERNOCCO
Aug 10, 2016 12:49 PM

Taxpayers approved the Hampton Bays Public Library’s $2.23 million 2017 budget by a nearly three-to-one margin on Tuesday.

The $2,232,263 budget, which represents a $1,942 decrease in spending over the current year’s budget, was approved, 223-76.

In spite of the spending decrease, residents are still going to see a slight increase in their library taxes next year as the tax rate is expected to climb about 3.2 percent, from 59 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation to 61 cents per $1,000. Therefore, the average taxpayer whose property is assessed at $400,000 can expect to pay about $245 in library taxes next year, or $8 more than the current year.

The 2017 spending plan comes with a projected tax levy of $1,951,163, which represents a nearly 0.4 percent increase over this year’s $1,943,390 levy, and also stays beneath the state-mandated cap on tax levy increases, according to Hampton Bays Library Director Susan LaVista.

“Looking at town website, the property values have gone down since a year ago,” Ms. LaVista said, explaining the increase. “Part of that function raises the tax rate, so that’s why you see that increase.”

According to town records, Hampton Bays properties are now valued at around $3.19 billion, down from $3.2 billion a year ago. The tax levy increase, Ms. LaVista said, is needed to help offset that gap.

To help keep spending down, Ms. LaVista said the plan budgets $170,000 for library materials, such as books, videos, periodicals and electronic books, down from $182,500 this year. Another $6,000 has been cut from programming and, next year, the library will set aside only $61,500 for programs for adults, teenagers and children.

The cuts are needed to offset some uncontrollable spending increases, such as those in health insurance. That line of the budget is expected to jump by $20,906, from $112,839 this year to $133,745, an 18.5 percent increase.

“It was a tough budget to put together because we were committed to stay within the tax cap,” Ms. LaVista said. “And because of things like building contracts for maintenance, and that sort of thing, and insurances that are going up way more than the tax cap would allow us, we had to reduce in some areas.

“That’s how we stayed under the tax cap,” she continued.

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Ask all the illegal immigrants to cough up money. They are the reason property values have decreased.
By Babyboo (292), Hampton Bays on Aug 10, 16 7:35 PM
For $245 per year everyone can buy all the books they need themselves.
By HamptonDad (236), Hampton Bays on Aug 10, 16 10:17 PM
OBAMA CARE!!!! If you like your increase, you will get an increase!!
By crboz812 (8), Quaker Hill on Aug 11, 16 11:28 AM
This is an outrage but they have us by the throat. Only 300 people vote, and you can bet most of them are library employees as well as friends and relatives of those employees. Game, set, match.
By SHPredatorDept (72), Southampton on Aug 11, 16 11:28 AM
I had reviewed the budget they provided before the vote (even though they provided about 6 lines of data). It was a net zero change. I suspect that is why it was such a low turnout. I am waiting to see if the Board comes up with a Plan B for major repairs/renovations - you might get your outrage then.
By G.A.Lombardi (551), Hampton Bays on Aug 12, 16 8:27 AM
so tired of the complainers. if you couldn't make the time to go vote or your business to find out when and where the vote was, you have no right to complain !
By typical (63), southampton on Aug 12, 16 3:36 PM
I am not sure I understand your comment. Generally people who complain about low voter turnout are the people that make the time to vote - some of us even try to understand the issues.
By G.A.Lombardi (551), Hampton Bays on Aug 12, 16 3:48 PM
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