.

Letter to the Editor: What Residents Should Know About Hempstead Town's 2012 Budget

Franklin Square resident Felix Procacci says several issues were not mentioned by Supervisor Kate Murray and her staff.

The following is from Franklin Square resident Felix Procacci:

On Oct. 11 the town board approved a $414.8 million dollar budget, a 2.9 percent increase (or $11.8 million dollars) over the 2011 budget. The budget was touted by Kate Murray as being a tax freeze budget that “blazes fiscal responsibility”.

Although the tax levy for the 2012 budget remains the same, there are some facts about the 2012 budget that weren't mentioned in the five mailings and press release used to promote the budget.

First, no mention was made of the use of $30 million dollars in reserve funds. This is $12 million dollars more than the $18 million dollars used last year. Also, no mention was made of the $50.7 million dollars of new debt issued by the Town in 2011.

Kate Murray often emphasizes her fiscal responsibility over the eight years she has been in office.

The best way to evaluate this statement is to look at your tax bills from 2003 and 2011 and compare the two. I did this and the results are displayed in the table below. All the numbers in this table were approved by Kate Murray and the Town Board.

Description 2003 2011 Percent Change

General Purpose

$15,883,091.15

$17,126,589.87

7.80%

Highway Dept.

$42,853,039.47

$63,951,727.30

49.00%

Building/Zoning

$7,659,950.53

$10,823,572.12

41.00% Lighting District

$7,018,990.72

$10,243,928.53

45.90% Franklin Sq. Park District

$1,465,457.84

$2,443,839.45

66.70% Refuse Disposal

$37,050,010.31

$43,202,557.60

16.60% Sanitary District 6

$16,971,667.28

$24,840,787.69

46.00% Frankling Sq. Water

$757,797.98

$936,803.76

23.60% Frankin Sq. Fire

$1,894,668.21

$2,335,609.81

23.00%

The annual debt service expense over the last eight years is presented in the following table.

2003 2011 Percent Change Debt Service

$41,926,770.00 (a)

$52,800,000.00 (b)

25.00%

(a): Source - OpenbookNewYork.com

(b): Source - Town of Hempstead 2011 Budget, page 4 footnote

And finally, FOILed documents show the Hempstead Animal Shelter budget has increased from about $3.5 million dollars in 2003 to $6.6 million dollars in 2011. The increase in the shelter budget is primarily due to an increase in Administrative charges. When I asked what these were at the Oct. 11 budget hearing and other town hall meetings, Kate Murray and her staff refused to answer.

Felix Procacci

Franklin Square

Robert Demarco November 28, 2011 at 08:47 PM
So Catherine Mary, you are the "old" Cathy?
Catherine Mary November 28, 2011 at 10:22 PM
Yes, I am now the poster previously known as Cathy :-). My new ID is the full name bestowed upon me by my Sainted Irish Mother
Robert Demarco November 29, 2011 at 01:08 PM
Hello, Catherine Mary. The boards have been very quiet since the election. I am sure that something will come along to stimulate our interest.
Felix Procacci December 09, 2011 at 03:48 AM
Some more stuff residents should know about the Town of Hempstead Budget : http://www.liherald.com/elmont/stories/Letters-to-the-Franklin-SquareElmont-Herald-Dec-1-7,36501
Florence Trunk December 02, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Just wondering???What does the "General Fund" include? I see it on the tax bill but haven't heard a good explanation of what it covers. You folks seem very informed on TOH & NC matters. I would appreciate it if you could enlighten me. Thanks.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »