Hillside Library taxes remain steady for 4th year running

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Residents will vote on the Hillside Public Library 2020–21 budget on Tuesday, June 9, via absentee ballot. (Photo courtesy of Public Domain Pictures)

The Hillside Public Library in New Hyde Park will hold its budget vote and Board of Trustees election next Tuesday. The proposed budget calls for no increase in taxes for the fourth year in a row.

Voting will take place via absentee ballot due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Incumbent Trustee Sabera Saadullah is up for re-election. She served as vice president of the board during the past year. She is running unopposed.

“I have been in love with the library since my childhood,” Saadullah said via email. “One of my first jobs as a teenager was working as a Page at the Queens Public Library, Astoria, Queens.  I am an educator, and a staunch believer that the Library is essential to personal and formal education.”

She added that the library acts as a communal space that allows everyone to have access to information.

“I have been a New Hyde Park resident and Patron of the Hillside Public Library for over 23 years and when the opportunity became available, I ran for the Hillside Public Library Trusteeship in 2015,” she added. “It has been my pleasure to serve my community for the last five years as a Trustee, and I look forward to my continued service for the next five years once I am re-elected to the Board of Trustees on June 9, 2020.”

The proposed 2020–21 library budget is $3,106,975. This is a $20,000 increase from the current budget of $3,086,975.

Of the total amount, $199,000 will go toward materials, including books, cassettes, videos, periodicals and electronic subscriptions. Operations, which includes utilities, maintenance, insurance, computer operations, supplies, public relations and legal costs, accounts for $498,500.

The rest of the budget is made up of personnel and services, employee benefits and bond expenses.

The proposed amount to be raised by taxation for 2020–21 is $2,992,975, which is identical to the amount for 2019–20.

“The Hillside Public Library is pleased to announce that for the fourth consecutive year, the  2020-2021 Library Budget has seen no increase to library taxes,” said Charlene Noll, library director. “The Library Board of Trustees continue to seek the best possible library experience for all while being diligent in efforts to hold down costs.”

“[T]he Hillside Public Library works diligently to hold down costs especially now as our services are needed more than ever amid budget cuts everywhere,” echoed Saadullah.

The board is proposing to use $30,000 of the library’s reserve funds in the coming year. The remaining funding will come from library fines, state and federal aid, copy machine usage, programs, interest, grants, gifts and donations.

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