North Hempstead OKs $162.8M budget including 5% tax cut

North Hempstead OKs $162.8M budget including 5% tax cut
The North Hempstead Town Board unanimously voted to adopt the 2023 budget that includes a 5% tax cut. (Photo courtesy of the supervisor's office)

The Town of North Hempstead adopted a $162.8 million budget for 2023 following a special meeting Monday morning. 

The budget includes a general fund tax levy decrease of $1,340,431, or a 5% tax cut, dropping from $26,808,627 in 2022 to $25,468,196 for 2023.

In the town’s $89.2 million general fund, $44.8 million is allocated to the town outside village fund, which covers services for residents who live outside incorporated villages, and $28.8 million for the 20 town-operated special districts, which set their own budget. 

The initial $158.4 million budget submitted by Supervisor Jennifer DeSena in September was later amended unanimously by the seven-member town board, where Democrats hold a 4-3 majority, when they voted in amendments submitted by Democrat Councilwoman Veronica Lurvey to include the 5% tax cut on Oct. 25.

This is the first budget adopted under DeSena, a registered Democrat who ran as a Republican for supervisor in 2021.

“Despite repeated attempts by the Democrat majority of the Town Board to bog down the process in needless delays, I am proud to announce that my administration has continued the tradition of previous supervisors and passed the Town’s 2023 budget prior to Election Day,” DeSena said in a statement after the budget’s adoption.

“I was disheartened that the majority Councilmembers twice blocked my plan that would have delivered an 11% tax cut for all residents, and instead went ahead with the plan Councilwoman Lurvey offered that presented more taxes in comparison, raised spending, and defunded health care and our Town’s salt and sand budget to pay for it,” DeSena said. “It’s my sincere hope that next year, the majority councilmembers do not put politics ahead of people as they did throughout this year’s process.”

On Oct. 11 DeSena submitted amendment proposals to her original budget, which included an 11% tax cut that Democrats eventually abstained from voting on during the Oct. 25 budget meeting before unanimously voting in Lurvey’s amendments. 

The special meeting Monday was held after it was revealed there were typographical errors discovered by Democrat Councilwoman Mariann Dalimonte. 

The amended budget, known as the preliminary budget, did not accurately line up, Dalimonte said during the Nov. 3 budget meeting.

One of the line items in the tentative budget included a $25,000 difference in the tax levy for the Harbor Hills tax levy.

Lurvey said in a statement DeSena’s 11% tax cut was “too extreme” and that the adopted budget allows the Town to be better prepared for uncertain economic conditions. 

“I know how hard our residents work and that they deserve the very best services possible. It is our responsibility to deliver quality services to our residents, and I am proud that this budget does so in an efficient and effective way – while still cutting taxes 5 percent. With this budget, we are now better positioned to weather an uncertain economic future,” Lurvey said.

“The supervisor’s plan was too extreme because it would have manufactured a future fiscal crisis for the Town. We could not allow her to put the Town in a financial hole with her irresponsible proposals. All budget modifications we made were approved unanimously and were in line with reasonable projections of revenues and expenses — this is a smart, balanced budget.”

Lurvey said the amendments she put forward were voted on unanimously in response to DeSena’s budget statement.

“Lest we forget, we have a supervisor who opposes items for the sake of opposing, yet she voted both in favor of my amendments and the amended budget. As did the entire Town Board — the budget was passed unanimously today, so what are we even debating?” said Lurvey. “Our residents have had enough of the supervisor’s political posturing. Thank goodness we were able to move forward and protect the progress that’s been made at the Town over the past several years.”

This year’s tentative budget was put together without a town comptroller, a position that has been vacant since at least January. 

Paul Wood, director of finance for the Office of the Supervisor, has been the acting comptroller. Additional employees on the budget team include deputy Supervisor Joe Scalero, acting Deputy Comptroller Sharon Glassman and Director of Governmental Research Steven Pollack. 

The Town Board, which votes on personnel resolutions to appoint town employees, has been interviewing candidates for the job. The job was offered to at least one person, who turned it down, the deputy supervisor said at a previous town board meeting.

A previous version of this article was published. It has since been updated.

No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here