EAST HAMPTON TOWN SUPERVISOR PETER VAN SCOYOC RELEASES 2020 TENTATIVE BUDGET THAT ADDRESSES QUALITY OF LIFE, ENVIRONMENT PRESERVATION, PUBLIC SAFETY, AND COMMUNITY SERVICE NEEDS
Spending plan totaling $81.8 million keeps tax levy below state-mandated tax cap through conservative budgeting, and maintains excellent fund surpluses; represents 2.1-percent spending increase over 2019
East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc released his tentative town budget for 2020 today for review by town board members and the public.
The budget provides for continued public services in order to meet the wide variety of town needs while maintaining the responsible, careful budgeting that has placed the town on excellent financial footing.
A number of budget lines remain the same or actually decrease under the proposed spending plan.
In order to increase efficiency, the tentative budget includes funding for some new staff positions, as well as for reasonable wage increases to properly compensate existing employees, according to contractual agreements, title regrades, or promotions. It calls for the addition of another planner in the town Planning Department and a new carpenter position in the Buildings and Grounds Department, as well as for new part-time positions in the Parks and Recreation Department. It also funds a new part- time position for a greeter who will be stationed in the Town Hall atrium to assist residents.
Funding for a number of community organizations and initiatives, from substance abuse counseling to early childhood education and hospice care, is also included.
The budget uses a reasonable amount of surplus and reserves to moderate the tax levy and tax rates, while still maintaining a projected total surplus through year-end 2020 of 50 percent.
These robust fund balances – or surpluses – that have been carefully built up and maintained through prudent fiscal practices are the key factor in East Hampton Town’s top-shelf credit rating, a AAA, according to Moody’s Investors Service. The AAA rating enables the town to save significant money when bonding for capital projects by qualifying East Hampton for extremely favorable interest rates.
The surpluses also provide “insurance” against unforeseen future costs for emergencies or other occurrences.
Supervisor Van Scoyoc’s tentative budget, if adopted as proposed, would set a tax rate for those living in one of the town’s incorporated villages at $12.02 per $100 of assessed value (an increase of 1.79 percent), and for those outside of the villages at $31.53 per $100 of assessed value, representing an increase of 2.2 percent.
The town board will review the budget during October, with discussions at several upcoming work sessions, and a public hearing will be held on the final proposed budget on November 7. Adoption of a 2020 budget will take place before Nov. 20, 2019, according to law.