Town Board: Taxes to go up beyond the 2 percent state cap

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO | The Town Board passed a unanimous resolution to have the power to raise taxes beyond a state-mandated cap of 2 percent. From left, Councilman Paul Shepherd, Supervisor Jim Dougherty and Councilwoman Chris Lewis. Not shown are Councilmen Peter Reich and Ed Brown.

Property taxes are going up for Shelter Islanders in 2014. And the bill will be more than the 2 percent the state has put a limit on.

At the  Town Board meeting on Friday, October 11, Supervisor Jim Dougherty said there was “no question that we’ll pierce the cap because certain departments and individuals are making very, very ambitious” requests for new revenue.

Councilman Peter Reich added that the new revenue would be going toward “what the public is basically demanding from us,” specifically mentioning new calls to expand the 4-poster tick control program.

the board passed a unanimous resolution to hold a public hearing on November 8 on  passing a local to over ride the state mandate. The resolution is a pro forma move that almost all towns in the state allow themselves.

After the meeting, Town Attorney Laury Dowd explained that the board has to  follow this somewhat convoluted procedure because setting a hearing on an override law has to be done at the Town Board meeting in mid-October in order to meet the state budget timeline, even though the Town Board is not far enough through its budget deliberations in mid-October to know if the override is necessary.