After inching precariously close to piercing the tax cap for the 2017 fiscal budget, the Town of Oyster Bay recently announced that no such authority will be needed.
Councilman Joe Pinto said that a meeting originally scheduled for Sept. 27 to consider breaking the tax cap has been officially canceled after town board members worked with department heads and the finance division of the supervisor’s office to keep within the New York tax cap structure.
“Each town board member, as liaison representatives to various town departments, spent countless hours with department heads in budget meetings, taking the necessary steps to keep within the cap,” said Pinto, who attended all budget meetings in his role as liaison to the comptroller’s office. “With the recent retirements and other difficult reductions to the budget, and with increased emphasis on revenue generating, we are pleased to be able to present a balanced budget without the necessity of piercing the cap.”
The town will hold budget hearings at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18, to accept public input on its preliminary budget for 2017.
Officials are working to right the fiscal ship after Standard & Poor’s downgraded the town’s credit rating to junk status in April, citing deficits and ballooning budgets. Last year, the town adopted a budget within the cap, but during the previous two years the town board passed consecutive 8.8 tax levy increases.