Category Archives: Town of Hempstead

Pay April 2018 School Taxes Now and Deduct Taxes on 2017 Return

Coping with the Federal Tax Code Overhaul, Clavin Urges Homeowners to Pay April 2018 School Taxes Now and Deduct Taxes on 2017 Return

 

As Congress wrestles with a major overhaul of the Federal Tax Code, which may eliminate or cap deductions for expenses such as property taxes, Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin is urging property owners to expedite certain property tax payments in order to take advantage of property tax deductions before a new tax code is enacted. In specific, homeowners who pay their second half school taxes before January 1, 2018 may be eligible to deduct the payment for federal income tax purposes on their 2017 returns. The second half taxes are due on April 1, 2018; however, if property owners wait until the due date to make payments, they will likely not be able to deduct the full amount of property taxes under the federal tax code being hammered out in Washington. Also joining Clavin at today’s press conference were Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby and Councilmembers Ed Ambrosino, Bruce Blakeman, Erin King Sweeney, Anthony D’Esposito and Dennis Dunne, Sr.

 

“The proposed federal tax overhaul will adversely impact many people in our area, and I am focused on finding any possible way to help local taxpayers,” said Clavin. “Many homeowners may be able to take deductions on their school taxes that are due in April of 2018 by paying them by December 31st of this year.”

 

School taxes are collected twice each year, once in October and again in April. Some homeowners have called Clavin’s office, expressing an interest in paying the April school property taxes prior to the end of this year in order to be able to deduct the payment. Clavin has consulted with tax professionals who indicate that property owners who fall below the Alternative Minimum Tax threshold may qualify to deduct their second half school tax payment on their 2017 income tax return if it is paid prior to the end of 2017. The Receiver did emphasize that individuals should consult with their tax professional to determine if they meet eligibility requirements.

 

“Don’t miss your opportunity to maximize your tax deductions,” said Clavin. “I urge homeowners to consult with their tax professionals to determine if they can reduce their income tax burden by paying their April school tax bill before December 31st of this year.”

 

“The new federal tax code could negatively impact our residents, and these valuable tips give our taxpayers one more opportunity to benefit from the current tax code before it expires,” Goosby said. “We encourage residents to consult their tax professionals to determine if it will be beneficial to pay school taxes before the end of this year,” Ambrosino added.

 

“Time is running out on the current federal tax code, and this is one way that our taxpayers could potentially benefit before it expires,” Blakeman said. “By paying your next tax bill by December 31st, you could deduct a portion of your property taxes that may not be deductible under the new federal tax code,” King Sweeney said.

 

While many taxpayers may elect to pay their second half school taxes (April school taxes) in the 2017 year, property owners will NOT be able to pay their 2018 general property taxes prior to the January 1, 2018 due date. In specific, Nassau County’s Administrative Code expressly prohibits the payment of general taxes in the year prior to the one in which they are due. The County’s Administrative Code states (in part) that general taxes “…shall be due and payable on the first day of January, and the remaining and final one-half of such taxes on real estate shall be due and payable on the first day of July…”

 

Clavin has staff prepared to answer questions about hours of operation, payment locations, payment options (cash, e-Check, credit card, check) and other issues related to the early payment of second half school taxes (staff will not be able to advise property owners on income tax questions, including eligibility for deductions).”

 

“Our knowledgeable Receiver of Taxes office staff is prepared and ready to accept school property tax payments before the New Year for neighbors who want to deduct them on their 2017 tax returns,” D’Esposito said. “Take this advice, speak with your tax professional, and consider paying your school bill by December 31st to benefit from the current tax code before it’s replaced by new regulations,” Dunne added.

 

“Now is the time to consider your options when it comes to making an early payment of your April 2018 school taxes,” concluded Clavin. “Speak to your tax professional today to determine if you are eligible to make an early payment of second half school taxes or any other possible payments, and deduct the amount on your 2017 income taxes.”

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website

Clavin Warns Residents: Challenge Assessments or Risk Tax Increases to Pay for Neighbor’s Assessment Reductions

If you have not regularly challenged your assessments, your taxes have likely increased to pay for the assessment reductions of homeowners who have successfully grieved their assessments. In fact, a recent Newsday report cited a $1.7 billion shift in taxes from property owners who won assessment challenges filed since the county’s assessment overhaul began in 2010 to those who did not successfully challenge their assessments. In response to this unfair shift in the property tax burden, Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin is holding 20 taxpayer forums focused on helping homeowners to challenge their property tax assessments.

 

“Nassau County, not the Town of Hempstead, sets your property tax assessments,” stated Clavin. “But, we can help homeowners avoid becoming victims of the county’s unfair and inequitable assessment system by educating property owners on the importance of challenging assessments routinely. What’s more, I am hosting 20 taxpayer seminars focused on demonstrating precisely how property owners may go about challenging their assessments.”

 

Earlier this year, a Newsday report uncovered unequal treatment among those who challenged their property tax assessments regularly in Nassau and those who did not. Further, the report even uncovered disparate treatment among those who did challenge on an ongoing basis. In fact, some homes that were the subject of regular challenges were deemed ineligible for what amounted to assessment reductions of 5 to 9 percent annually under the county’s “Carry Forward” provision. Unfortunately, the criteria of eligibility appear to change frequently, and the changes have not been shared with the public.

 

If your home is deemed ineligible, it will receive a new appraisal and a valuation readjustment that takes into account the neighborhood’s real estate market. Since most Long Island neighborhoods have been increasing in value, the new valuation is often higher, resulting in the same percent reduction from a higher price. By not challenging your home’s assessment, Nassau County will continue to take advantage of uninformed homeowners.

 

“Remember, your assessment can only be lowered as the result of a challenge, it can never be raised,” said Clavin.

 

“A few things are abundantly clear when it comes to Nassau’s assessment system,” announced Clavin. “The system is broken, it is rife with inequity, and many homeowners have been penalized with higher taxes to pay for the assessment reductions of neighbors who have challenged their assessments. One more thing is clear…Nassau has been secretive about the eligibility criteria for the ‘Carry Forward’ of assessment reductions, resulting in tax inequity even among those who have challenged assessments.”

 

Clavin noted that Nassau County’s broken assessment system makes it more important than ever for homeowners to challenge their assessments every year. He indicated that while challenging your assessment every year will not correct the underlying inequities in the system or guarantee a fair valuation, it is the best protection available when it comes to protecting your home from over assessment and property owners from unwarranted property tax increases.

 

“While Nassau’s inequitable assessment system needs a genuine overhaul based upon regularly updated market based valuations, homeowners need to take steps to protect themselves, to the extent possible, through challenging their property tax assessments each and every year,” said Clavin. “I encourage residents to attend one of my taxpayer forums to learn how to grieve their taxes.”

 

The free taxpayer forums have a strong focus on sharing “how to” information on challenging assessments. Outlining a step-by-step process on filing the grievance, the seminars will also offer information on property tax exemptions and other important information for property owners.

 

The Receiver of Taxes will be holding free taxpayer forums at the following locations:

 

· December 5 – 12:15 PM, Garden City Public Library, 60 Seventh St., Garden City

· December 7 – 7 PM, Valley Stream Village Hall, 123 S. Central Ave., Valley Stream

· January 4 – 1 PM, Wantagh Library, 3285 Park Ave., Wantagh

· January 8 – 2 PM, Elmont Memorial Library, 700 Hempstead Tpke., Elmont

· January 8 – 7 PM, Oceanside Public Library, 30 Davison Ave., Oceanside

· January 10 – 7 PM, Malverne Public Library, 61 St. Thomas Pl. Malverne

· January 12 – 1 PM, Merrick Public Library, 2279 Merrick Ave., Merrick

· January 16 – 7 PM, Floral Park Public Library, 17 Caroline Ave., Floral Park

· January 18 – 7 PM, Levittown Library, 1 Blue Grass Lane, Levittown

· January 22 – 7 PM, Garden City Public Library, 60 Seventh St., Garden City

· January 25 – 7 PM, Island Park Library, 176 Long Beach Rd., Island Park

· January 26 – 2 PM, Oceanside Public Library, 390 Davison Ave., Oceanside

· January 30 – 7 PM, Baldwin Public Library, 2385 Grand Ave., Baldwin

· January 31 – 6:30 PM, Freeport Memorial Library, 144 W. Merrick Rd., Freeport

· February 1 – 7 PM, Bellmore Public Library, 2288 Bedford Ave., Bellmore

· February 5 – 1 PM, East Meadow Public Library, 1186 Front St., East Meadow

· February 6 – 2 PM, Baldwin Public Library, 2385 Grand Ave., Baldwin

· February 8 – 7 PM, Hempstead Public Library, 115 Nichols Ct., Hempstead

· February 9, 1 PM, Bellmore Public Library, 2288 Bedford Ave., Bellmore

· February 13 – 2 PM, Franklin Square Public Library, 19 Lincoln Road, Franklin Square

· February 15 – 1 PM & 7 PM, West Hempstead Library, 500 Hempstead Ave., West Hempstead

 

“Nassau County’s property tax assessment system is flawed and out of control,” concluded Clavin. “It is time to take action by informing our residents on how they can fight back. Come on down to one of my free taxpayer forums, together we can take steps to protect ourselves from being victimized by unwarranted tax increases that are the result of an inequitable assessment system.”

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website

Dunne Seeks Legislation Banning New Hookah Lounges Near Homes, Schools and Community Centers

Seeking to protect local residents, schools and businesses, Hempstead Town Councilman Dennis Dunne is seeking to “snuff out” hookah lounges in America’s largest township. Standing outside of Levittown Memorial Education Center, Councilman Dunne proposed a town law that would restrict the operation of hookah lounges in the Town of Hempstead to light manufacturing and industrial zones. Also attending the press event were Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, Councilman Ed Ambrosino, Levittown school officials, the Levittown Board of Education, the Levittown Chamber of Commerce, the Levittown Community Council and members of the Levittown PTA.

 

“The Town of Hempstead prides itself on being a community that is dedicated to the safety and quality of life of our residents,” stated Councilman Dunne. “The smoking of hookah tobacco can be harmful, particularly for young people, and may serve as a gateway to illegal drug use. That is why I am proposing the restriction of these hookah lounges to prevent their location near homes, schools, community centers and shopping areas.”

 

Councilman Dunne will call for a public hearing on the proposed law at the December 12th meeting of the Hempstead Town Board. The legislation will apply to hookah lounges that open in the future or are currently in the process of opening.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking hookah tobacco can lead to cancer of the mouth, lungs, stomach and esophagus, among other diseases. In addition, the charcoal used to heat the tobacco produces high levels of carcinogens, carbon monoxide and other chemicals, making them just as toxic as cigarettes. What’s more, many young people believe that hookah smoking is less harmful than cigarettes. In fact, the long-term sessions involved with hookah smoking can result in even more chemicals being inhaled than with the average cigarette.

 

“I am proud to partner with Councilman Dunne to restrict the number of hookah lounges in our suburban communities,” stated Senior Councilwoman Goosby. Said Councilman D’Esposito, “This proposal will serve to help maintain the superlative quality of life that we have come to expect in America’s largest township.” Added Councilman Ambrosino, “We are confident that this proposed law will help protect residents from the health risks associated with hookah smoking.”

 

Councilman Dunne also detailed plans to restrict the selling of other dangerous substances, such as those found in so-called “vape shops.” Many parents might be unaware that their children are using JUUL e-cigarettes, which can be easily mistaken for a computer flash drive. This method of vaping, while harmful to the smoker, also provides a health risk to nearby children and pets. Another dangerous substance is Kratom, which can provide a “high” that is similar to opioids, which are highly addictive.

 

“As a veteran of the Vietnam War, it will always be my mission to look out for my fellow residents and keep them safe from harm,” concluded Councilman Dunne. “I think we can all agree that restricting hookah lounges to light manufacturing and industrial zones is in the best interest of all residents in the Town of Hempstead.”

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website

 

Annual Holiday Celebration and Toy Drive at Hempstead Town

It’s the holiday season and there’s no better way to kick it off than with Hempstead Town. Supervisor Anthony J. Santino has everyone on the holiday list, and he’s checked it twice, for the annual lighting of the Christmas Tree, Hanukkah Menorah and Kwanzaa Kinara. The celebration will take place at Town Hall Plaza on Wednesday, December 6th at 4 p.m.

 

The ceremony will feature a special guest from the North Pole as Santa Claus is coming to Hempstead Town! Although his reindeer are busy preparing for their flight, Santa will still be riding in style atop an antique fire truck. To help spread some holiday cheer, the Jackson Main Elementary School Chorus will be singing holiday favorites alongside Oneg Shemesh and Peter Rapanaro.

 

“During the holiday season, we reflect on the good times of the past year as we look forward to the year ahead,” said Santino. “It is truly exciting to celebrate the tremendous generosity that is all around us.”

 

Hempstead Town officials have symbolized the spirit of giving by partnering with CSEA Local 880 and the Salvation Army to sponsor its annual Angel Tree Donation drive in an effort to help economically disadvantaged children during the holidays. Those attending the ceremony will have an opportunity to donate an unwrapped toy to the cause. Hempstead Town’s Department of Highways will be collecting toys through December 13th.

 

Hempstead Town’s Animal Shelter will be “Home for the Holidays” along with a few of their furry friends. Volunteers from the shelter will also be on hand to answer any questions about adoption while the playful pups enjoy a meet-and-greet with holiday merrymakers.

 

“Join us for merry festivities and glad tidings,” concluded Santino. “This time of year is about togetherness, so come on down and celebrate with the Hempstead Town family.”

 

In case of inclement weather on the day of the event, the ceremony will be moved indoors, inside the Town Hall Lobby. Hempstead Town Hall is located at One Washington Street in Hempstead Village, between Peninsula Blvd. and Front Street.

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website

 

Hempstead Town Waiving All Pet Adoption Fees During ‘Home for the Holidays’

Preparing for the holiday season can be hectic and expensive, but through the Town of Hempstead’s “Home for the Holidays” pet adoption program, Supervisor Anthony J. Santino is making it as “simple as apple pie” to adopt a furry friend into your loving home. In fact, it is even simpler and more affordable than “apple pie,” because loving people who adopt a cat or dog from the Hempstead Town Animal Shelter from Saturday, November 18th through Wednesday, January 3rd can get the gift of “furry love” for free!

 

Through the “Home for the Holidays” program, all pet adoption fees are being waived at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter. What’s more, all adoptions include free spaying/neutering, age-appropriate vaccinations and microchipping.

 

“During this holiday season, consider bringing one of our shelter’s cats or dogs ‘home for the holidays’,” Santino said. “It’s easier than ever before to adopt a pet at the Hempstead Town Animal Shelter through the ‘Home for the Holidays’ program. In addition to all adoptions being free through January 3rd, our shelter will also provide spaying/neutering and age-appropriate vaccinations all free of charge.”

 

What’s more, the town has partnered with three local sponsors, Island Trees Veterinary Hospital in Hicksville, Dog Grooming by Rachel in Bellmore and Fido Fitness Club in Woodmere, all of which will be providing free gifts for each pet adopted from the town shelter during the Home for the Holidays program.

 

Neighbors can get a head start on the adoption process by visiting the Animal Shelter’s website at www.toh.li/animal-shelter, where they can view cats and dogs that are currently up for adoption. Staff and volunteers are also available to assist prospective adopters who visit the shelter, located at 3320 Beltagh Avenue in Wantagh. For more information, please call the shelter at (516) 785-5220.

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website

 

Free Movie Matinee for Seniors

Senior residents ages 55 and older are invited to join us for our next movie matinee: Frank Capra’s “It’s A Wonderful Life,” starring James Stewart and Donna Reed.

 

Friday, November 17, 2017 | 12 noon
Levittown Hall, 201 Levittown Parkway, Hicksville (Located on the Hicksville/Levittown border)
Doors Open at 11:30 am, Movie Starts Promptly at Noon
Light Refreshments For Sale

 

For further information, please call the Department of Senior Enrichment at 516-485-8100.

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website

Santino Auctions Obsolete Town Equipment, Garnering $436K In Only Seven Months

Continuing to deliver on his pledge to provide relief to taxpayers, Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino is realizing revenues byturning trash into cash. In only seven short months since America’s largest township began to auction obsolete, old and broken town-owned equipment on the Internet, Hempstead Town has garnered $436,000. The program will support taxpayer savings as the auction revenues could supplant an equal amount of property tax revenues that might otherwise be required to meet expenses.

 

“Hempstead Town is turning trash into cash,” said Santino. “We’re taking obsolete and broken equipment that some other governments discard, and our town is getting money for these items by auctioning them on the Internet. We are getting rid of broken trucks, obsolete equipment, very old pay loaders, and even boats that have been donated to the town.”

 

Partnering with Auctions International, the town inventories items that are no longer usable in serving town residents. The auction company posts the surplus/obsolete inventory on the web, conducting Internet auctions. Most recently, the town realized approximately $148,000 for an auctioned shredder which shredded bulky items, including large metal objects and mattresses at the town’s sanitation facility. The shredder has not been in use for several years. Some of the previously auctioned equipment included dump trucks, pickup trucks, communications equipment, cameras, vans, payloaders and road sanding vehicles, among other items. Currently, the town is even looking to auction boats that have been donated to the town, some of which were damaged in Superstorm Sandy. And, the town may have struck “pay dirt” as it will seek a purchaser to buy “clean fill” dirt that the town has accumulated through various projects.

 

“This program goes to show that one person’s junk is another person’s treasure,” stated Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby. “This effort is a great way to eliminate waste and maximize revenues.”

 

Under the contract with Auctions International, the town receives 100 percent of the sales price of auctioned items while Auctions International charges a “buyer’s premium.” The company has extensive experience in Internet auctions that market the types of equipment and surplus material that Hempstead Town is seeking to sell. The town commenced its partnership with the auction company in March of 2017. Sales prices range from $130 for some used cameras and printers to $148,000 for the industrial shredder.

 

“Supervisor Santino is being innovative in his approach to government,” said Councilman and Deputy Town Supervisor Anthony D’Esposito. “He is looking at issues that have been taken for granted, finding new approaches that are increasing town revenues and offering relief to our taxpayers.”

 

Santino explained that the revenue gained from the auction of obsolete town equipment can actually result in relief for town taxpayers. In specific, the Supervisor noted that revenues gained from the program will help to meet the town’s budgeted expenses. He emphasized that he greatly favors the use of revenues such as auction proceeds to meet expenses as opposed to drawing upon sources that impact town taxpayers.

 

“Programs like this are a ‘win-win’ for our taxpayers,” concluded Santino. “Our town is turning ‘garbage into gold,’ and we are using the revenue we receive from auctioning off surplus items to meet town expenses, which helps minimize the burden placed on property taxpayers to fund town services.”

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website

Santino Honors Outstanding German-American Residents

Santino Hosts a “Guten” Time For All – Honors Outstanding German-American Residents at Town’s German Heritage Celebration

 

Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino held an Oktoberfest of his own by kicking off the township’s 2nd annual German-American Heritage Celebration. This event is dedicated to recognizing exceptional German-American residents who have had a positive influence in their communities while embracing and promoting German heritage and culture.

 

“There are many diverse cultures in Hempstead Town, but there’s no better month than October to recognize our hard-working, overachieving German-American residents and their impressive culture.” stated Santino. “I’m excited to be back for the 2nd year of our German-American Heritage Celebration.”

 

This year’s honorees include: Matt Buck, the General Manager of Plattduetsche Park, the hub of almost all of the German organizations on Long Island; Theodore Heim, a successful baker with a heart of gold; Frank Honerkamp III, a decorated Scoutmaster and dedicated volunteer; Mary-Ellen Kreye, a founding member of the Uniondale Community Council and active member of a dozen more Uniondale community groups; Nicole Radske Miskiewicz, a former Miss German America who continues to be the Vice Chair of the annual Steuban Day Parade; and John Wellenreuther, a retired Nassau County Police Officer who won numerous awards during his time in the department’s Mounted Unit and avid volunteer of many German community groups.

 

Glenn Meyran, a second generation German-American and Purple Heart Veteran, will be the distinguished keynote speaker. Entertainment will be provided by the New York Spitzbauam Orchestra, Bremervoerder Chorus, and Gemuetlichen Enzian Dancers. Delicious German delicacies were provided by the Ugly Gourmet Mobile.

 

“I would like to thank our honorees, our keynote speaker Glenn, our entertainment and Ugly Gourmet Mobile for their assistance in celebrating German culture and making this event truly ‘wunderbar.’” concluded Santino.

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website

 

Town Rebuilds Sandy-Damaged Bulkheads in Pt. Lookout

Santino Saves $525K on Protective Sea Wall, Fishers Welcome Project

 

Five years after Hurricane Sandy destroyed a protective coastal bulkhead in Point Lookout, Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino watched as town workers replaced sections of the sea wall that were decimated in the Superstorm. At the same time, the Supervisor, who was joined by Senior Councilman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, Councilman Dennis Dunne, Sr., Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad, detailed a $525,000 project cost savings compared to the tab for which the town would have been responsible if private sector contractors were used. The new bulkhead is also being welcomed by local fishers who traverse the sea wall as an access point to a popular area fishing pier.

 

“Protecting the public and our infrastructure from storm damage, while maintaining our coastal areas for public enjoyment, is an important priority for our government,” said Santino. “We are rebuilding storm-damaged bulkheads along the waterfront in Point Lookout. In addition to safeguarding buildings and other infrastructure, this location is an access point for a popular public fishing pier.”

 

The town’s “in-house” workforce has already completed over 400 feet of bulkheading on this project, and is now engaged in replacing another 300 feet in the hamlet of Point Lookout. The construction site is along the north shore of the Point Lookout barrier island, commencing west of the Loop Parkway Bridge near the landmark wind turbine. The sea wall fortification which borders Reynolds Channel, continues west from the turbine, running along the northern boundary of the township’s renewable energy park and the Conservation and Waterways Department administration building. The dock work will terminate just east of the local West Marina.

 

“The area that we are rebuilding abuts important structures and equipment,” stated Goosby. “A renewable energy park, government offices and a marina are all steps away from this protective sea-wall.”

 

The estimated cost of materials for the project will amount to $315,000, averaging $450 per linear foot. Utilizing an outside (private sector) contractor to perform the work would have cost the town an estimated $1,200 per linear foot, totaling $840,000 for the entire 700-foot project. By executing the bulkhead work with municipal employees, the town will realize a saving of $525,000 or 62.5% compared to private sector pricing.

 

“I am excited to demonstrate that our team of government workers is delivering a top-quality project while saving taxpayers over half a million dollars,” stated D’Esposito. “We have the best workforce anywhere, and our residents are benefitting from their dedication and hard work,” added Dunne.

 

The cost for an outside dock building company includes both labor and materials. The cost for the “in-house” town project is only comprised of material costs since there is no incremental cost to the town for the municipal laborers who are performing the work. More specifically, no additional employees were hired to perform this work, and the crew of craftsmen performs a host of other duties at town marinas and conservation facilities when not engaged in dock building.

 

The materials used to construct the bulkhead are top quality, providing an estimated useful life of over 50 years. The bulkhead sheathing consists of heavy gauge extruded vinyl, which is secured by wooden piles that are vertically oriented. The piles are driven into the bay bottom. Securing the sheathing to the piles are horizontally oriented 8”x8” whalers. Additionally, a “dead man” structure behind the bulkhead sheathing helps provide stability to the bulkhead.

 

The bulkheading project began in late April. While the first 400 feet are completed, the second phase, comprised of 300 feet of bulkhead, is underway. The town anticipates completion of this phase by mid-winter, depending on weather conditions.

 

“In Hempstead Town, we are committed to keeping our residents and property safe,” concluded Santino. “At the same time, we are facilitating top-quality recreational enjoyment for fishers, and we are saving taxpayers over $500,000 by building new bulkheads with town workers instead of using private sector dock builders.”

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website

Hempstead Town Approves Santino’s 2018 Budget in Bipartisan Vote

Financial Plan Cuts Spending for 3rd Consecutive Year

 

In an October 17th bipartisan vote, the Hempstead Town Board approved Supervisor Anthony J. Santino’s 2018 operational budget, which cuts town spending for the third consecutive year. The financial document reflects Santino’s priorities—cutting costs, reducing staffing levels, trimming payroll and holding managers accountable. In fact, the Supervisor’s 2018 operational budget is slashed by $3.7 million or .88 percent compared to the 2017 fiscal plan, producing a structurally balanced budget.

 

“I am proud to have crafted a 2018 budget that slashes spending and is accountable to taxpayers,” said Santino. “Further, this financial document is structurally balanced, including sufficient revenues to meet expenses, without any reliance on ‘one shot’ revenues or any other fiscal gimmicks.”

 

Additionally, the Supervisor indicated that he believed it was important to lead by example, noting that he had cut the Supervisor’s Office budget and the Supervisor’s Office payroll in 2018.

 

“‘Don’t ask anybody else to do anything that you aren’t willing to do yourself’ is an adage that has guided the work of my administration,” said the Supervisor. “That’s why I have cut my own office’s payroll by almost 6 percent at the same time as I’ve cut overall spending in the town’s 2018 operational budget by $3.7 million.”

 

2018 operational budgetSupervisor Santino has implemented cuts to both his office’s payroll and his office’s overall budget for 2018. The Supervisor is leading by example, cutting his office’s costs at the same time as the entire 2018 operational budget has been reduced.

 

The Supervisor’s 2018 budget continues a tradition of “doing more with less.” In fact, Santino is credited with reforming the 2016 budget that he inherited from a previous administration upon taking office as Supervisor. He transformed a budgeted 2016 operational deficit of $23.5 million into a $5 million operational surplus by slashing discretionary spending by 24 percent and cutting actual overtime costs by 56 percent vs. 2015 (excludes premium pay), among other financial reforms.

 

Santino followed up his 2016 successes by presenting an inaugural budget in 2017 that constituted the township’s first structurally balanced budget (budgeted revenues were equal to expenses) in over 25 years.

 

The Supervisor’s 2018 budget extends his trend of reducing salary costs and shrinking the workforce. In fact, the town’s administration is on track to slash salary costs by $14.6 million in 2017 compared to the 2016 budgeted amount. And, Santino’s 2018 spending plan will further trim salary costs by $200,000 below the 2017 total of $162.5 million. A key component of keeping a tight rein on salary costs lays in “rightsizing” the workforce. In 2018, the Supervisor will cut the number of full-time positions for the second consecutive year. The 44 person workforce reduction in his 2018 proposal represents a 2.3 percent cut compared to the 2017 figure. Indeed, staffing levels have been reduced by 4 percent compared to the headcount of just two years ago.

 

While Santino was preparing the 2018 budget, the town received an impressive “report card” acknowledging the Supervisor’s impressive fiscal reforms. A recently released “fiscal stress” report by New York State’s “fiscal watchdog,” Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, acknowledged that Hempstead Town’s level of “fiscal stress” dropped from 62.5 percent in 2015, the year prior to Santino becoming Supervisor, to 28.3 percent in 2016, the end of his first year at the helm of town government. The

 

55 percent improvement removes the township from the state’s designation list of municipalities with “moderate fiscal stress” and places it in the most favorable category available, which is entitled “no designation.” The report is a key indicator of the fiscal stability of local governments.

 

“My administration is ‘walking the walk’ while other governments simply ‘talk the talk’ when it comes to fiscal responsibility,” concluded Santino. “We’ve adopted a structurally balanced 2018 budget that cuts spending, reduces payroll costs, cuts discretionary spending, shrinks the town’s workforce and dramatically curtails overtime costs. But, I am most proud of the fact that this budget includes cuts to the Supervisor’s Office budget and the Supervisor’s Office payroll because ‘leading by example’ is the only way I know how to govern.”

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website