North Hempstead set to vote on 2024 budget Thursday

North Hempstead set to vote on 2024 budget Thursday
The North Hempstead Town Board was expected to vote on the 2024 budget on Thursday, Nov. 2. (Photo by Karina Kovac)

The North Hempstead Town Board is set to vote on the Town’s budget for next year on Thursday, Nov. 2.

Council members have until 24 hours before the meeting by 7 p.m. on Wednesday night to submit any amendments to Republican Supervisor Jennifer DeSena’s $163.9 million budget proposal. 

The seven-member town board voted to certify DeSena’s budget 5-2 on Oct. 18 in a meeting at which Demcocrat Council Members criticized DeSena over the current budget process. 

Town Democrats expressed concerns over the potential impact on the budget from the Town’s recent agreement on a four-year collective bargaining agreement with the CSEA Unit 7555, which represents over 80% of the town’s workforce. The contract still needs to be ratified by the labor union before it can come before the board at a public meeting for approval.

The contract will run from January 2023 through December 2026. Other issues Town Democrats had raised included the projections for Harbor Links Golf Course in Port Washington and cuts to road paving, tree planting and maintenance, sidewalk work and beautification funds.

Democrat Mariann Dalimonte said during the Oct. 18 meeting amendments will be made to DeSena’s proposal. As of Monday afternoon, no amendments have materialized. 

DeSena in September submitted a budget proposal that includes a 10% property tax cut, maintains town services and programs and increases budget for 13 of the town’s 18 departments. 

Allocated in DeSena’s second spending plan is $91.9 million to the town’s general fund, $41.8 million to the town’s outside village fund, which covers services for residents who live outside incorporated villages, and $30.1 million for the 20 town-operated special districts, which create their own budgets. 

The general fund tax levy is $22,921,376, according to the tentative budget, compared to $25,468,196 in the 2023 adopted budget, representing a 10% decrease. The tax levy for the town outside village fund will also decrease by 10% from the current year. 

Taxpayers who pay both general and town outside village fund taxes would save an average of $183.12 and those who pay only general fund taxes would save an average of $38.06, according to the supervisor’s office. 

This is the second time in as many years that the tentative budget was submitted without a full-time comptroller. Kristen Schwaner, who was hired earlier this year after a long bipartisan search process, resigned in August. 

Paul Wood, the town’s finance director, was appointed as interim comptroller, similar to last year.

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