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10/14/14 8:00am


Shelter Island Fire Commissioners will hold a public hearing tonight, Tuesday, October 14, at 7 p.m. at the Center Firehouse to outline their plans for the 2015 budget. This is an opportunity for the public to weigh in on the proposed $863,702 budget that stays within the state-imposed 2 percent tax cap.

It represents a $29,662 difference in what was allocated for the current year.

The amount to be raised from real estate taxes is $818,804 with the balance coming from interest and other income.

To support the current year’s budget, the district had to raise $795,492 in real estate taxes.

Taxpayers will see a decrease in their taxes to support the Shelter Island Fire District in 2015 despite a proposed 2.93 percent increase in spending. That results from a wider tax base.

The increase doesn’t pierce the state-imposed 2 percent tax cap because the district spending for the current year was less than 2 percent, Treasurer Amber Williams said.

An owner of property valued at $640,000 would pay $174.49 in 2015 as compared with $175.36 paid to support the 2014 budget. An owner of property valued at $1 million would pay $272.64 in 2015 as compared with the current $274 bill.

Small increases in spending are in the areas of equipment, insurance, repairs and maintenance and fuel oil. Some of the increases are offset by decreased spending, including a small savings in wages resulting from combining the treasurer’s and secretary’s jobs into a single job held by Ms. Williams. She has long been the district’s treasurer, but took over the secretary’s responsibilities last year upon the retirement of former secretary Jackie Tuttle.

Commissioners expect to adopt the budget at their regular October 27 meeting and will, if necessary, make any changes to the plan based on public comments.
Historically, there have been no changes between the proposed and final budgets.

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