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Rockville Centre adopts 2022 spending plan

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Rockville Centre village trustees adopted the fiscal year 2022 budget of about $46.8 million on April 15.

Trustees also discussed the budget at a virtual meeting and public hearing on April 5. The tax levy is about $33 million, which represents a 3.9 percent increase over the current year’s budget.

Village officials announced the tax levy increase, citing lower revenues due to the Covid-19 pandemic and increased employee benefit expenses. The average village taxpayer can expect about a $10 per month increase.

“The budget for the fiscal year 2022 was a particularly challenging one to prepare due to the hardships we have all faced during the past year,” Mayor Francis Murray said at the April 5 meeting. “My administration has labored to find a balance between tax increases and use of fund balance reserves to mitigate the tax burden on our residents.”

Revenues including parking permits, meters, traffic violation and parking tickets are more than $2 million lower than in prior years, officials explained.

“That’s actually one of the areas where we’re seeing a significant decrease,” Village Comptroller Dennis Morgan said at the April 5 meeting, “because this year, there haven’t been as many vehicles and there hasn’t been as much downtown activity . . . These are pockets of revenue that have just dropped out of the bottom on us, and we’re doing the best to really have a balanced budget and to get through the next year.”

The revenue coming from the Recreation Center is down nearly $1 million.

Additionally, the state has placed “un-funded” mandates on the village, driving up costs. Officials said the village’s contribution to the New York State retirement system for employees has increased by $728,000, or 18 percent, in fiscal 2022.

The budget also anticipates using about $2.6 million of the village fund balance to avoid an even larger tax increase to residents. The use of the reserves helped to avoid a potential larger tax increase for residents. 

The budget does not include any assistance the village may receive from the federal stimulus program, officials said, adding that there has been no official notification of any aid, and if some were to come, the amount is uncertain.

Any aid that the village receives from the federal government would be used to replenish the fiscal 2021 deficit caused by the pandemic. Officials said they hope revenues return to previous levels as things slowly return to normal.

“The spending plan we are putting forth is the product of a great deal of work by the village administrator, comptroller and our department heads to hold down costs wherever possible,” Murray said in a statement. “We will continue to look for ways to reduce costs and bring in additional revenue to the village, including being aggressive in pursuing grant money, private or public partnerships and gifts to make improvements at little expense to our residents.”

To view the complete spending plan, visit the village website at www.rvcny.gov.