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
$10,823,572.1241.00% Lighting District
$10,243,928.5345.90% Franklin Sq. Park District
$2,443,839.4566.70% Refuse Disposal
$43,202,557.6016.60% Sanitary District 6
$24,840,787.6946.00% Frankling Sq. Water
$936,803.7623.60% Frankin Sq. Fire
The annual debt service expense over the last eight years is presented in the following table.2003 2011 Percent Change Debt Service
(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.