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Chappaqua Library Budget Has 2.82% Tax Levy Hike, Stays Under Cap

For tax rates, a large gap between New Castle (up 2.34 percent) and Mount Pleasant (up 10.36 percent).

The proposed 2012-13 budget calls for an increase in the tax levy of 2.82 percent, to $2,775,839.

The increase stays under the 2-percent tax levy cap, according to Library Director Pam Thornton, because of exemptions such as the growth factor, a number used to account for a change in the tax base, and a portion of pension costs. The levy represents the total amount of tax revenue to be collected.

The library is administratively part of the Chappaqua Central School District and shares coterminus boundaries, straddling much of New Castle and a northern strip of Mount Pleasant.

The burden burden will be felt differently in each town, however. The tax rate, which is the amount of taxes paid per $1,000 of assessed property value, will increase by 2.34 percent in New Castle (to $2.74 per $1,000 AV) but rise by 10.36 percent in Mount Pleasant (to $35.88 per $1,000 AV). The reason for this difference is due to a formula called the equalization rate, which is used to determine the tax burden between the towns because properties in the municipalities are assessed at different percentages of market value.

Operating Changes: Costs and Services

The budget's total spending will increase by 2.75 percent ($76,115), to $2,842,839. Major cost increases include contributing to the state's pension fund, according to Thornton, by about $62,205.

The salary line, however, will decrease from $1,599,452 to $1,589,821. Thornton attributed the lower costs to three people being retired but not replaced.

The library materials cost will rise from $178,765 to $199,942. This comes amid other libraries cutting funding to purchase materials. About 40,000 materials were borrowed from elsewhere in the region last year, Thornton explained, with a need for the library to serve its public.

“They’re not buying media," Thornton said of neighboring libraries. "They’ve gone to zero budget with all their materials.”

Programming costs will rise by about $3,000 amid growing demand. Such programs being funded include muscial events and book discussion groups.

“It’s just a high demand, and that’s where our population wants service, so we’re providing it," Thornton said.

The library budget is up for a vote on May 15, the same day at the Chappaqua school budget and an uncontested school board race (board President Alyson Kiesel is the only one running). At the same time, one Library Board of Trustees seat is up for election, but the board will only be accepting write-in votes, as to run by the April 16 deadline.

A copy of the proposed budget is attached as a PDF.

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