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Oct 1, 2009 12:26 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Proposed Southampton Town budget seeks tax hike and layoffs

Oct 1, 2009 12:26 PM

Southampton Town Supervisor Linda Kabot filed a $78.8 million budget that will raise town property taxes and result in layoffs, at 11:56 p.m. Wednesday, just short of the state’s midnight deadline.

Ms. Kabot and the town’s financial officials worked into the night on Wednesday before making it official by turning the budget over to Town Clerk Sundy Schermeyer. The tentative spending plan is $3.7 million below this year’s budget of $82.5 million, a decrease of about 4.5 percent.

Under the tentative budget, tax rates will increase, as expected, by 5 percent, from $1.32 to $1.38 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Under the increase, a homeowner with a home assessed at $500,000 will see a town tax bill that rises by $33, from $660 to $693 per year. The tax hike would mark the second consecutive year taxes would be raised the maximum allowable amount under the town law.

In a budget statement released early Thursday morning, Ms. Kabot said the privatization of two disposal stations run by the town’s waste management department would result in layoffs. The statement does not identify any other departments that could see layoffs next year, although the supervisor has said that more layoffs are likely.

According to the budget statement, the tax hike would help pay off $3.6 million in deficits in the operating budget. Those deficits include $1.4 million in the police fund, $1.5 million in the highway fund, $150,000 in the E-911 fund, and $150,000 for the Hampton Bays Water District.

Also, to pay off an estimated $10 million deficit in the capital fund, the supervisor is proposing a five-year repayment plan through a separate tax line listed on the property tax bills of town residents. Ms. Kabot is seeking approval from the Town Board to amend the tax cap law to enable the repayment plan. The board is expected to take up the issue before the budget is due for adoption by November 20.

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The building department seems more than a bit overstaffed. They are "busy" reviewing decades-old files in the hope of generating some additional fees from contractors and homeowners.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Oct 1, 09 5:56 PM
1 member liked this comment
5% increase would be $330 not $33 not on $500,000 home.

$6600 to $6930

Linda never was good at math as evidenced by the millions of missing dollars
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Oct 1, 09 7:09 PM
1 member liked this comment
Math? What math?
By littleplains (305), olde england on Oct 1, 09 8:47 PM
5% of the tax rate. Do you know what your tax rate is? Everyone's tax rate is different depending where in SH town they live.
By golfbuddy (180), hampton bays on Oct 1, 09 9:27 PM
I know the tax increase on a home valued at $500,000 will be greater than $33
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Oct 1, 09 9:41 PM
Thats about right EastEnd. you do realize that the town portion of your tax billis pretty small in comparison to school taxes, dont you?
By Terry (380), Southampton on Oct 2, 09 9:49 AM
Surprise, surprise! A tax hike and layoffs, and cuts in service. No news here, the Town Board has been talking about all this for months, because they have to do something to plug the hole that the Cannuscio, Heaney and Kabot administrations have left us in.

This piece by Bryan Finlayson is good, straight reporting, unlike what we heard on Monday night at a Meet the Candidates Night held by the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association. There, Republican Chris Nuzzi, ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 2, 09 10:52 AM
3 members liked this comment
Nuzzi isn't personally responsible for the financial mess in SHT, but he is a proud member of the party that created it and a faithful follower of their principles.

How does Nuzzi propose to get out of this financial mess? He doesn't. Instead he uses it to tar democrats. Typical republicanism. DUMP NUZZI.

Here is another idea: make politicians personally liable for financial mismanagement. Then we could go after Skip Heaney, who is responsible for putting all of us in this mess.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Oct 2, 09 11:43 AM
I agree with Noah. Why do we as taxpayers have to pay for the politicians mistake?. Linda had to know this was going on when Skip was if office. Start taking from their salary instead of the hard working people that are trying keep their heads above water. I am tired of politicians spending our tax dollars irresponsibly.
By favaunt (24), Sag Harbor on Oct 2, 09 5:51 PM
Take a minute and go to the Southampton Town Website...see how much the department heads salaries are and then the overworked clerks, etc!!! I was amazed to see how much! Seems to me that the cuts are entirely in the wrong place. Ohhhh politics.......
By local11968 (7), southampton on Oct 4, 09 9:50 AM
1 member liked this comment
Chris Nuzzi has been the town board liaison to Public Works, and Highways for four long years. So what did he know and when did he know or find out about the deficit in the Highway fund? That seems to have happened only when Anna Throne-Holst and Sally Pope openly questioned the Highway Superintendent about his budget. It wasn't Nuzzi. Over two million dollars in fund deficits seem to have missed his attention or his inattention.
By Bob Whyte (48), Hampton Bays on Oct 4, 09 12:25 PM
2 members liked this comment
It all seems to me like a huge case of absolutely gross mis-management over many years. A supremely arrogant lack of oversight by the last two or three Town Supervisors and an attitude that "anything goes" created a pervasive disfunctional town hall culture.

The definition of a Supervisor is someone responsible for the performance of a group. The supervisor's job is to set an example, to guide the town toward its goals, see that all members of the town team are productive, and resolve ...more
By barberosa (39), Watermill on Oct 4, 09 12:36 PM
Don't make the mistake of voting for more liberals because you will have a really big mess on your hands with their tax and spend politics. How did the Town budget get $30 million for the Community Preservation Fund, out of an $80 million budget in 2009? Preservation of land is more important to the left wing liberals than peoples jobs or lower taxes.
By Walt (292), Southampton on Oct 4, 09 1:14 PM
This is such a typical no brainer response of the very group responsible for the sleight of hand that leaves us SH taxpayers having to again pay another tax increase - the maximum allowed!! for the second year to cover the mismanagement by the supposedly fiscal conservatives. Their hypocrisy and yours sir are evident when you constantly distort the facts and throw around the term left wing liberals - who by the way have kept this town from being completely paved over and built over by exactly the ...more
By ajaytee (1), Southampton on Oct 5, 09 12:23 PM
1 member liked this comment
Just watched the video tape-Linda did a great job. She won my vote and deserves to be re-elected
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Oct 5, 09 6:06 PM
What contribution as ATH or Sally made in cutting the budge for 2010. All they have done so far is point fingers and cast blame.
Sally is clueless and ATH as no experience. From what I witnessed thus far is criticism and blame from the democrats with no plan on fixing the problem.
Also, don't forget this deficit existed when the democrats were in the majority on the town board.
Those here complaining about the tax increase, let hear from you what idea's do you have?
By golfbuddy (180), hampton bays on Oct 5, 09 10:28 PM
Who sees the budget before Linda presents it to the board? Did anyone know that Linda is considering privatizing two Waste Management transfer stations before it was announced in Newsday on October 5, 2009?
There are no cuts across the board. Look at the list of those who will go. The animal shelter, seven low level jobs in Public Works and just a few of the higher level employees will go. Most of the departments will be untouched.
By Bob Whyte (48), Hampton Bays on Oct 13, 09 7:02 AM
There goes my friend golfbuddy again, casting blind aspersions that have zero basis in fact. He calls Sally Pope "clueless", but if he were actually to attend Town Board meetings, or watch them on TV, or read the minutes online, he'd find it's just the opposite. If you want clueless, vote for Jim Malone -- that's real clueless.

He says Anna Throne-Holst has "no experience", but if he'd read her resume, again available online, he again find it's just the opposite. Now her opponent, Linda ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Oct 22, 09 12:25 AM