A Message from the Lake Grove Mayor: Holding the Line on Taxes

Dear Village Residents,

The Village Board has recently approved the 2021-2022 village budget.  Initially, the budget was to include a tax increase of 2.51%, which by the state’s formulas and calculations would have kept us under the New York State tax cap.  As you are likely aware, with village taxes being low, that percentage would have resulted in a very small dollar increase for the year.  With that being said, we also realize that all small increases to our household budgets are cumulative and can add up to a substantial amount of money. Many people are suffering financially during this pandemic and we do not want to add to their burden.

We took another look at the budget, and we were able to adjust funds in various areas to create a budget with no increase in taxes from the prior year.  The village has historically been cautious and conscientious with spending our tax dollars, which has put us in a position to accomplish this goal.

Covid-19 has greatly impacted our revenue for the current 2020-2021 budget.  Court revenues, building permit fees, and engineering fees were non-existent for the better part of a year.  Tropical storm Isaias and five snowstorms added to the village’s expenses creating a further burden on our budget. I am proud to say that we survived financially and are continuing with our routine standards of operation.  We are hopeful that the Federal Government Stimulus Relief Plan will provide some support to the village going forward.

As you review your tax bill, please be mindful that the refuse pick-up and dumping charges are not a function of taxes.  These charges are pass-through dollars and only used for those purposes.  We accept the lowest responsible bids for these expenditures and then use those funds to pay for them.

WHY ARE GARBAGE FEES INCREASING?

In past years, we have gone from getting paid for our recycling, to breaking even on our recycling, to now having to pay for recycling by the ton.  Glass is no longer accepted as a recyclable at the landfill and is now mixed in with our other household garbage increasing that tonnage.  While we are working on having on-site glass containers for it to go to be recycled, we will still have to pay the cost for pick -up and dumping. There is little to no value of recycled materials as a commodity at this point in time.

EXPERIENCE WILL PREVAIL

We, as a Village Board have been working together with many years of experience in municipal matters and will continue to look for new ways to reduce expenses and explore new sources of revenue.  I am extremely proud of our Village Board and our entire village staff and we will all continue to work hard on behalf of our village residents.

Thank you for your continued support.

Robert (Bob) Scottaline, Mayor