Two days after Ed Romaine won election as Suffolk County executive, the public had a chance to tell the town board what they thought of his proposed 2024 budget.
It will be Romaine’s final spending proposal. After 12 years as supervisor, he takes office as county executive on Jan. 1.
Romaine won election handily last Tuesday night, and there wasn’t a lot of drama at the Nov. 9 public budget hearing, either.
Only a single member of the public spoke. His comments were confined to commending Romaine for including funding in his proposed capital budget for a waterfront redevelopment plan for communities along Brookhaven’s north shore.
“I think it’s a good budget,” Romaine said at the hearing. “It’s a very stable budget. It holds taxes very low, far below inflation.”
Romaine’s $335.5 million operating budget maintains current service levels and raises the town’s share of a property tax bill by 1.36 percent, which is within the state’s 2 percent cap. The largest item is $147.1 million for employee benefits and compensation.
The budget raises trash collection fees by $5 a year to $388 a year for a single-family home. Salaries for elected officials, including the supervisor and members of the town council, would rise by 3 percent.
Romaine’s $47.9 million capital budget includes $28.6 million for roads, drainage improvements and street lights; $4 million for land acquisition to preserve open spaces and drainage; and $5.6 million for landfill infrastructure as the town prepares to close the landfill.
Town taxes account for a small share of a property owner’s overall tax bill—3.78 percent for properties in one of the town’s nine villages and 5.7 percent for those outside a village.
The Town of Brookhaven board plans to pass the budget during tonight’s Thursday, Nov. 16 meeting.