The proposed $ 311 million budget for the Oyster Bay budget keeps the tax rate flat and increases labor costs by 2022

Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino’s proposed budget for 2022 would continue to use spending for the first time since he took office in 2017.

The $ 311.6 million proposal would increase payroll and contract expenses, while employee benefits would remain flat and debt service costs would fall. The city’s tax, as calculated below the state’s tax value, would also remain unchanged at $ 232.9 million.

“The city of Oyster Bay is providing better services than ever before, even during the COVID pandemic, and we will continue to do so,” Saladino said at the October 5 city council meeting where the budget was proposed.

The city has scheduled hearings on the budget for Tuesday.

Saladino graced the latest upgrades of Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s, which over the summer raised the city’s credit ratings to A3 and A + respectively.

“Our A + credit rating means we save taxpayers significant money every time we commit to road improvements, infrastructure projects, even when we commit to helping water bodies with the equipment they need to keep drink clean water, ”Saladino said.

Saladino took credit at this meeting for the city’s $ 44 million operating deficit reduction, although the city’s audited accounts for 2020 show that the city’s $ 44.6 million deficit in 2015 had dropped to $ 23.4 million in 2016 under former Superintendent John Venditto. The city ended 2020 with an operating profit of $ 47.6 million, according to its audited accounts.

City spending has risen each year under Saladino, rising from $ 284.1 million in the 2017 budget to $ 299.1 million in his first budget in 2018 and up to $ 311.6 million in the 2021 budget, an increase at 9.6% over five years.

Wage spending has risen sharply under Saladino from $ 77 million in the 2017 budget he inherited when he took office in January of the same year to $ 93.6 million in the proposed budget for 2022. If the budget is adopted, wage spending has risen by 21.5% over six years.

According to its latest loan prospectus, Oyster Bay 2017 began with 1,025 full-time employees, reducing that number to 993 in 2019 and returning to 1,025 in January 2017.

Although the city council reduced the tax rate by 0.5% in 2018, it has remained more than $ 20 million higher than the level before 2017. What individual property owners pay in taxes depends on where they live and what taxes apply to them. The general fund fee applicable to all properties will increase by $ 3.5 million to $ 59.1 million in the proposed budget compared to 2021. Other fees, including fees for the two sanitary conditions districts and a parking area, would fall.

One tax that has fallen sharply since 2017 is the city tax, which finances Oyster Bay’s buildings and planning department. This tax dropped from $ 2.4 million in 2017 to $ 100,000 in the proposed budget for 2022, as tax revenues have largely been replaced by fee revenues. The city raised some of its building permit fees in January 2017, before Saladino took office that month, city spokesman Brian Nevin wrote in an email.

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