Flower Hill budget includes tiny tax decrease

The Flower Hill Board of Trustees at their meeting on Monday (Photo by Luke Torrance).

When the Flower Hill Board of Trustees adopted the village’s 2019 budget on Monday, they had good news: taxes would be going down for residents.

“Taxes are going down 0.08 percent, or about $7 per house,” said Mayor Rober McNamara.

The 2018-19 budget totaled $3.86 million, a 2.42 percent and $91,030 increase over last year.

Revenue from property taxes increased by $83,530, up to $2.06 million.

While taxes remained flat, several organizations like St. Francis Hospital had a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement, leading to the increase. Meanwhile, non-property tax revenue dropped by $72,000, down to $115,000.

The village will also see an almost 400 percent increase in revenue due to interest since the village switched banks earlier this year. As a result, Flower Hill will collect $24,400 in interest, up from $4,900.

In expenses, fire prevention and control went up by about $32,000 due to the village’s contract with the Port Washington Fire Department. And finance expenses increased from $20,550 to $38,000 due to the hiring of a part-time accountant.

McNamara said had already paid off due to the accountant finding an additional $130,000 that the village was entitled to.

“I think the village is in a very good financial position, we’ve got money in the bank… it’s going to be a good year,” McNamara said.

Three laws were discussed on Monday but were adjourned until the May meeting.

The first was a law that would require utility meters mounted separately in a side or rear yard to be set back at least four feet from the property line. The law had been discussed at previous meetings. But two new laws were introduced to regulate lighting in the village.

Trustee Brian Herrington said the village had received complaints about commercial and residential lighting, and mentioned the “lighting display on Sunnyvale,” referring to the Christmas lights that have created friction between the village and the resident who puts them up.

“What we tried to do is update the village law… that address all these concerns we’ve been getting,” he said.

He said under the new law the village would be more vigilant about restricting security and landscape lighting. The other proposal, which would amend the exhibitions law, would require advance notice to the village for lighting displays and a $100 per day permit fee for lighting displays that featured sound, operated at least three days over a 10 day period, and attracted at least 20 people.

“It takes a lot of resources from the village… so we need to have notice of them,” Herrington said.

A public hearing on the lighting laws would be held at the May meeting.

As part of the annual meeting, re-elected village officials and new appointees were sworn in. Village Administrator Ronnie Shatzkamer announced the vote totals and said that the results — McNamara received 54 ballots, the three trustees at least 48 each — was “not a terrible turnout.”

In order to boost turnout for the next election, Trustee Randall Rosenbaum suggested that voting could be extended to the morning hours so that people could vote on their way into work. Currently, the polls are open from noon to 9 p.m. Shatzkamer said those hours were approved by the board, and they would need to make a resolution to expand hours.


  1. 54 people showing up to vote in a fake election is awful, vs. Ronnie’s suggestion that it is “not awful.” If they wanted a real election, the NYS law allowing the existence of a village would be changed to make election day in November the day for village elections. The Village system of governance relies on the ignorance and apathy of citizens, which is why clowns like McNamarra and Herrington are allowed to persecute the citizens. BTW, when I ran for trustee in 2000, I believe I received over 100 votes. Of course at that poiint the village cabal felt threatened and took out ads in the paper to keep their “winning team” together. That year the village cabal “team” received over 200 votes.

  2. I see lyin’Brian Herrington is up to his old diversionary tactics. The objective of their unlawful lighting law is to stiop my Christmas display. It has nothing to do with requiring advanced notice. That is another Lyin’ Brian lie. You failed to mentioned that the village wants the applicant who dares put up a display that attracts the eggregiously large crowd of 20 people over 6 hours, pay all their “expenses.” These expenses would include legal, consultants, advertising and stenography. At the corrupt village’s discretion they could insist on a $20k traffic study before they would consider granting a permit. Additionally, their advertising for laws and public notices probably comes to pennies a year, but they’d probably insist on full page ads in the NY Times if I were to apply for a Christmas light permit. The entire board needs to resign, and we need to replace them with people who truly want to serve the citizens, not like the ones there now who want to rule the citizens.


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