Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth has proposed a $156.8 million budget for 2022 that includes no layoffs and remains below the tax cap.
The tentative budget, outlined by town officials during a virtual public meeting on Thursday evening, calls for a general fund tax levy increase of more than $720,000, or 2.78 percent, from the 2021 adopted budget – going from $26,047,300 to $26,770,373. In the town’s $88.5 million general fund, $40.2 million is allocated to the outside village fund, which covers services for residents who live outside incorporated villages, and $28.1 million for town-operated special districts.
The total tentative budget is an increase of more than $18 million from the current budget, with most of the increases coming as a result of $18.2 million in revenues and expenditures from the Solid Waste Management Authority.
In late September, the Town Board voted 7-0 to approve terminating the authority in order to consolidate costs and save taxpayers money. Without including the consolidation funds, the budget increases by $500,000 to $138.6 million.
“It’s our responsibility to be both cautious and sensible in our approach to the 2022 budget, while also ensuring we keep taxes low for our residents,” Bosworth said during the meeting.
The coronavirus pandemic, she said, brought a variety of challenges and obstacles the town was forced to adapt to and overcome since March 2020, but she touted the work of her administration and other town officials for coming up with a budget that remains below the state’s tax cap.
“I’m so grateful to the entire North Hempstead team, especially our department heads, for their thorough and efficient work over the last year and a half,” Bosworth said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has placed many constraints on the Town of North Hempstead, both financially and operationally. My administration’s ability to continue to work effectively within the confines of such an unprecedented crisis has undoubtedly made a difference for everybody.”
Despite the pandemic, the town was able to maintain its AAA bond rating from Moody’s Investors Service, the highest rating a municipality can obtain.
Bosworth, who announced her retirement from her role as supervisor earlier this year, said the tentative budget is still subject to change and the board welcomes comments from the public. The next scheduled budget hearing will be during the virtual Oct. 21 meeting.