Petrones Budget: Fee and Tax Increases, Pay Raises and Layoffs

Filed under: Around Town,Government,Investigations,News |

Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone has submitted to the Town Board his proposed 2013 budget document that includes a small tax increase, significant fee increases, pay raises and layoffs. The Supervisor is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Town. A public hearing on the proposed 2013 budget is set for Tuesday October 16th, at 6pm at Huntington Town Hall.

The 2013 proposed budget will increase the Town’s tax levy slightly by .83% overall. Portions of the tax levy include line items such as the Towns General Fund which will see a 5.58% tax increase and the Highway Fund which will include a 2.39% reduction or decrease in the tax levy. The proposed total budget for 2013 is $181.7 million, which represents a 4% increase from the 2012 budget which is currently $174 million.

Significant fee increases are also part of the proposal.  Parking fees will be most impacted.  Residents who wish to park in the Town’s commuter parking garage will now pay $600 for an annual permit. This is proposed to take effect on January 1st, 2013.  Presently the fee is $50 annually. Commuter parking permits will increase from $50 to $75. Fee increases are slated for town metered parking and additional meters are to be installed at town parking facilities.

While taxes and fees are increasing apparently so are salaries. The Supervisor is proposing salary increases for his position and the Town Board members. Presently the Supervisor makes $158,543 annually. His proposal increases his base salary to $162,903 annually. Town Board members currently make approximately $76,841 annually for what is considered a part time position and according to the 2013 budget will increase to $78,955. Additional wage increases are also proposed for the Highway Superintendent, the Town Clerk and the Town Receiver of Taxes.

While the aforementioned wage increases are proposed, so are the elimination of approximately fifteen positions from the proposed budget including but not limited to a Civil Engineer, Animal Control Officer, Equipment Operator’s, Auto Mechanic, etc. The layoffs may be mitigated if concessions are agreed to with the local CSEA “White Collar” union. Labor talks between the CSEA White Collar Union and the Town Administration are reportedly ongoing.

Councilman Eugene Cook recently stated at a Greater Huntington Civic Group meeting that he has big concerns with regard to Supervisor Petrones 2013 budget proposal and encourages people to come speak out on the 16th of October. A more detailed budget article with updates will be forthcoming in the upcoming November print edition.


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4 Responses to Petrones Budget: Fee and Tax Increases, Pay Raises and Layoffs

  1. Amazing, I can’t say I am surprised that Petrone appears to have no problem giving himself a raise in this economy while simultaneously raising the parking to $600 in one shot, eliminating positions and raising other fee’s. Did he stop to think how people already paying more for EVERYTHING were going to come up with an additional $600??? These are hardworking taxpayers already squeaking by, for the most part. My spouse and I work for the LIRR and Federal Gov respectively, neither one of has seen even a cost of living increase in over 4 years. Yet The Town Board feels they should get an increase for what is essentially a part time position. They are voted onto the board by the people of Huntington to facilitate the people of Huntington paid for by us taxpayers. Most, if not all board members hold other positions, therefore I doubt there is a financial necessity on their part for such an increase. They are also compensated for any expense they incur in said position, on our dime. Unlike the taxpayers who will not only be paying for their raise but will also have to pay for the HUGE increase in parking. I wonder how you, Mr. Petrone, can reconcile eliminating positions, propose such a sky high parking fee while at the same time give yourselves a raise. It is nothing short of Shameful!

    October 13, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm

  2. Apparently Cuthbertson and Berland do not think people have very long memories. We need to repair a garage that is needed because they took away a parking lot, then they built a project that does not pay taxes but instead pays PILOT which only further fuels removing properties from the tax rolls.

    Now Petrone wants to raise fees and build another parking garage in town. Petrone is half way to Florida so there is no sense time on him. Berland and Cuthbertson need to be ousted.

    October 13, 2012 3:13 pm at 3:13 pm

  3. In Regard to this parking increase. A 1200% increase is absolutely crazy.

    This proposed increase of 1200% has come as a shock to many commuters. Most commuters that I have spoken with were not even aware of this proposal. Apparently, there was a questioneer that was sent out to all the holders of the parking permits. I have yet to receive one and I am not the only person to be left out of this query.

    This proposed increase will leave struggling commuters with very little options, as there becomes very few open air spaces for commuters to park outside.

    Another big concern that I have with this increase is that you will get a poor participation rate and as a result, limited increase in revenues. This would be consistent with a professional sports team raising season tickets costs and now having a less full stadium. How would this be a benefit to anybody?

    Another point that was bought to my attention would be the increase of empty spots in the assigned spaces in the garage due to non usage as some commuters are often ill, on vacation, or traveling for business. What you will see is a lot that will be less efficiently utilized.

    Below, I attached the recent article from the Huntington Patch because I feel that it offers some insightful comments from commuters who may or may not be at the budget meetings October 16th. I would suggest that you move the time slot for the proposed increase to later in the evening as many attendees are concerned that if you have it earlier in the evening, they will still be commuting and will be unable to participate.

    This has always been a good town to live in. I know that the Town has had recent issues due to budget constraints. It is important that you realize the residents are no different.

    October 15, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am

  4. Vote all of the incumbants out of office. It’s the only thing they will understand!

    October 17, 2012 4:43 pm at 4:43 pm

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