Floral Park presents tentative $33M budget amidst rising health insurance and retirement costs

Floral Park presents tentative $33M budget amidst rising health insurance and retirement costs
Mayor Kevin M. Fitzgerald. (Photo courtesy of Kevin M. Fitzgerald)

The Village of Floral Park board presented a tentative $33,486,490 budget for 2024-2025 –   a  budget during a budget hearing Wednesday night an $844,271 increase over this year or 2.59%

The proposed calls for a tax levy increase of 2.43%, slightly less than the state-mandated cap of 2.45%.

The 2023-2024 budget is $32,642,019.

Floral Park’s increase is less than other nearby villages.

In Mineola, for example, the village is proposing a 4.76% budget-to-budget increase of $1,093,790, according to the village treasurer.

The proposed tax levy for this year in Floral Park is $28,475,000. The approved tax levy for 2023-2024 is $27,800,000.

The village also proposed a library budget of $1,579,795 and pool budget of $1,256,827.

Like many nearby villages and school districts, board members acknowledged the challenges of rising costs.

“For the past few years, many costs associated with providing village services continue to rise,” Mayor Kevin Fitzgerald said. “This upcoming year will certainly be no exception to that, as inflation continues to have a significant impact on our daily lives.”

In particular, many North Shore villages and districts are battling spikes in health insurance costs. Floral Park is experiencing a $296,000, or nearly 7%, increase in health insurance costs, Fitzgerald said.

Like other villages and school districts, Floral Park is also seeing increases to required retirement fund deposits.

In the proposed budget, Floral Park is facing a nearly 33% increase in the village’s required deposit to the state retirement fund and a 10% increase into the police retirement fund, Fitzgerald said.

Other budget highlights include an increase in the pay rate for seasonal staff at the village park, pool and library, capital projects, the replacement of necessary village equipment, maintaining and repaving roads and long-term infrastructure projects, Fitzgerald said.

The mayor encouraged residents to continue to shop and dine locally, not only to support local business owners in town, but to help commercial businesses stay in the village since commercial buildings are a large contributor to the Floral Park tax base.

“I would like to thank all the businesses that do choose to open up and stay in Floral Park,” Fitzgerald said.

The village is seeing some proposed 2024-2025 revenue increases.

Since interest rates have gone up, Floral Park is anticipating a $150,000 increase in interest rate revenue, Fitzgerald said. And revenue from parking meters is also up slightly, though it has not returned to pre-pandemic levels yet, he added.

At the end of the meeting, the mayor acknowledged a $750 difference in budgeting for a village sump mentioned by Trustee Lynn Pombonyo and said that precision exemplified the work done by village staff.

“I’ve enjoyed or am proud of the attention to detail that goes through this during the last three or four months,” Fiztergald said. “It just shows the work that’s done by the department heads and everyone involved in producing this budget that they just don’t skip over things. They look at everything.”

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