The Great Neck Library adopted a $9.76 million budget subject to voter approval on May 15 at a board meeting on Wednesday night, which would expend the exact same amount as the current budget if approved.
Library officials had flirted with the idea of raising the budget to $9.84 million at a meeting back in March, according to a budget document, but ultimately decided to keep it at $9.76 million.
“We have agreed that we should not increase taxes as allowed by the tax cap as we have shown no need for additional funding,” Steve Kashkin, the library’s business manager, wrote in a memo to trustees and Library Director Denise Corcoran.
“In addition,” Kashkin continued, “I do not believe we can lower taxes as our Aaa bond rating at Moody’s and favorable interest rates were based in large part on assurances that our tax receipts were guaranteed not to drop below 2014 levels.”
Somed $9.49 million of the library’s budget comes from property taxes and $164,201 comes from payments in lieu of taxes, meaning tax-like payments make up 98.9 percent – or $9.65 million – or the library budget.
The other 1.1 percent, worth $108,700, is projected to come from a combination of registration fees, fines, service aid, grants, lost book income and other miscellaneous items.
The biggest part of the budget, worth $4.22 million, would go toward salaries across the library district – a 1.85 percent increase worth $77,000.
Administration employee costs would rise $53,900, or 9.05 percent, from $595,300 to $649,200. Librarian salary costs would also rise $49,200, or 5.1 percent, from $964,200 to $1.01 million.
Salary costs for professionals on Levels, the library’s youth program, would go up 8.33 percent from $215,000 to $232,900, or $17,900. Custodians see a similar raise from $223,800 to $241,000, or a 7.69 percent increase worth $17,200.
Part-time employee costs overall are budgeted to go up $134,600, or 15.12 percent, from $890,100 to $1.02 million, with increased expenses for part-time clerks – worth $481,500 – making up $131,100 of that change.
Expenses for pages are slated to go down $10,500, or 24.42 percent, from $43,000 to $32,500, while part-time support staff expenses are nearly halved from $20,300 to $10,900.
The budget proposal does not feature a provision for “additional part-time hours as authorized,” which had been worth $222,500 in the 2017-18 budget, which also helps offset the increase projected in salaries.
The second biggest expense would go toward employee benefits and taxes, being worth $2.17 million – a 3.61 percent of $75,840.
$1.05 million is slated to go towards materials and programs, which would be $33,814 – or 3.3 percent – higher than the current $1.02 million. Building and occupancy expenses, meanwhile, are budgeted to decline $1.17 percent from $1.01 million to $1 million.
Administrative expenses, in general, are budgeted to see the greatest cost decrease. Under the proposal, administration costs would go down $87,349 – or 17.93 percent – from $487,084 to $399,736.
$749,888 is projected to go toward debt service, which is $4,801 – or 0.64 percent – higher than the $745,087 outlined in the current budget.
The budget proposal also features $57,000 for the automated library fund to create a STEM lab and replace computers and $50,000 transferred to the bond retirement fund founded last year with an interfund transfer worth $250,000 in order to reduce debt payments.