The Town of Brookhaven issued a 2014 tentative budget on Tuesday
that proposes no tax hikes and no employee layoffs.
The $252 million-dollar budget proposes to decrease the use of surplus to balance the budget and reduce staff through early exit incentive programs. It also included $10 million for open space acquisitions.
In a statement released by the town on Tuesday, Supervisor Ed Romaine said he is confident that the proposed budget would get the town back on track fiscally.
“There is no way that we can continue with the flawed practices of the past and expect the taxpayer to carry the burden,” he said.
Officials said there would be a freeze in the six major funds of town property taxes without a reduction in taxpayer services and also complies with the New York State tax levy cap.
$6 million dollars of the $10 million set aside for open space purchases includes the Carmans River watershed.
Romaine also proposed additional staffing in the building department to meet increased demand, a 15-percent increase in overtime funding for off-hours investigations by the town attorney's office and continued improvements and expansion of the town's park and recreation system, including the new complex in Eastport.
The tentative budget recommends $50.9 million in new funding across all departments, with the budget increase over last year due to funding for open space purchases, where officials said no new funding was provided in 2013.
"If we cannot find new sources of revenue and reign in spending, we'll have not choice but to cut services or face a property tax increase," said Romaine. "The town simply cannot spend money that it does not have..."