The Town of Oyster Bay Town Board approved the 2023 budget during a Tuesday, Oct. 25 meeting. The vote came after two budget hearings on Oct. 18, both of which received very little participation from the public.
The budget continues the $1.3 million property tax cut approved in 2018 by freezing taxes.
The town board voted to receive the Supervisor Joseph Saladino’s 2023 proposed budget on Oct. 4.
“The proposed budget for 2023 continues to pay down record amounts of town debt while enhancing the delivery of quality town services, and, I believe, ever improving quality services,” Saladino said at the Oct. 4 meeting. “Since first taking office back in 2017, we have successfully reduced town debt by $187 million, and that’s net because we’re still spending money on paving the roads, buying those new trucks, and everything we spend capital money on, but the net—meaning after the expenditures and the savings— the net result is a cumulative $178 million less debt than we had back in 2017. We also eliminated the $44 million multi-year deficit to our operating budget that previously existed.”
To continue confronting the town’s debt, approximately $78.2 million will be allocated towards debt service, $14 million lower than in 2017. The new budget also reflects a 2.6 percent spending growth while keeping the tax levy below $233 million, as it has been since 2018. The town’s multiple credit rating upgrades has put it in a good position when the town bonds for projects. Also helping to keep the town balanced is an early retirement incentive that has saved the town millions of dollars, as well as replacing inefficient boilers, installing LED street lights and performing more in-house work.
“This budget contains no gimmicks, no one-shot revenues,” Saladino said. “This proposed budget is fully balanced, and every line item within it, fully balanced. It does not rely on any borrowing for cash flow purposes. We have 100 percent stopped that a number of years ago. We will continue to restrict new spending while investing in roadways and, in fact, hundreds of roads have already been repaved with many more roads planned for the coming year. We’ll also continue to invest in our parks, pools, beaches and the resources needed to combat zombie homes among others.”
The highway department is receiving an increase of $343,228 in tax levies; and the park districts (including Jericho, Bethpage, Glenwood Glen Head, Massapequa, Oyster Bay, Syosset, South Farmingdale, among others) is receiving a total of approximately $1.2 million in tax levies. However, there is a decrease of $805,545 in tax levies for town operations because of a budget cut for a draining district, lighting district and solid waste disposal district. And good news for the Glenwood-Glen Head Water District, Plainview Fire Department, East Norwich Fire Protection and North Farmingdale Fire Protection, because an additional $801,840 in tax levies will be allocated towards those contractual services.
“To keep our downtowns vibrant and our storefronts filled, this proposed budget invests money in downtown revitalization in those initiatives while supporting small businesses and nonprofit organizations that we’ve received through the Federal government,” Saladino said. “In Hicksville and Syosset, downtown business districts, revitalization projects are getting underway to beautify the area, improve accessibility, and advance pedestrian safety initiatives.”
Funding for these revitalization efforts comes from grant funding and investments within the capital budget.
And to further help residents, the Town of Oyster Bay was a recipient of $16 million in federal funds to assist renters facing economic hardship and housing security as a result of the pandemic.
“Plans for 2023 include even more road improvements – we’ve paved hundreds of roads over the past few years, and will do many more in the coming year,” Saladino said. “We have and continue to improve parks – again using grant funding wherever possible – and will continue to replace fields and playgrounds throughout the town.”
Visit www.oysterbaytown.com/wp-content/uploads/2023-Preliminary-Budget.pdf to read the full budget.