For a fourth consecutive year, Town of Putnam Valley taxpayers could see a budget that surpasses the New York State enforced tax cap.
Putnam Valley Supervisor Sam Oliverio, undertaking his second budget cycle, announced the spending plan at last Wednesday’s town board meeting. During his brief remarks, Oliverio said the $14 million budget was over the cap, but the tax levy would only rise by less than two percent.
The two budget breakers were once again health insurance–it increased by 16 percent– and retirement payments–it went up by about five percent–to again make the spending plan difficult to keep below the cap, Oliverio said. He noted expensive litigation also bloated the budget.
Many departments within the town came in at zero percent increases, Oliverio said.
The fund balance isn’t going to be touched, Oliverio said. More details should come out about the budget as the town board meets throughout October.
Oliverio’s proposed budget comes in slightly above the state mandated tax cap of roughly 1.8 percent. He said to try to stay below the tax cap each year gets “more and more difficult as inflation starts to kick in.”
Oliverio, when he ran for supervisor a couple years ago, vowed to get the town within the tax cap after former supervisor (and current district attorney) Robert Tendy offered budgets that broke the cap. But that campaign promise proved to be harder to accomplish than thought for him.
While Oliverio apologized to residents last year for being unable to come through with that campaign pledge, this year he laid more of the blame on the state for not upholding a true “two percent” tax cap and pushing costly state mandates on the town.
“As long as we stay below two percent,” Oliverio said. “I’m happy.”