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Proposed Library Budget Falls Under Tax Cap

Tax increase would be about 1.99 percent.

The proposed 2013 library budget cuts spending on books, periodicals, movies, programs, maintenance, and supplies but stays within the governor's 2 percent cap on tax increases.

The administration at Emma S. Clark Memorial Library is calling for voters to support a tax appropriation of $4,730,951 – less than a $100,000 increase over the previous year's tax appropriation – that would amount to a 1.99 percent increase.

"We felt that was the right thing to do, so we did need to reduce some things," library director Ted Gutmann said in an interview Tuesday.

But, he said, patrons won't really feel the effects of the cuts that would come with the passage of this budget. That's because the library has joined LI Link, a sharing service across both Nassau and Suffolk library systems that allows patrons to borrow items their own home libraries don't have.

"We’re gaining access to literally hundreds of thousands of new items without actually having to buy them," Gutmann said. "We don’t necessarily need to purchase as much because we have other ways of getting them now."

The library will skip allocating funds into its capital fund this year, which will save $40,000. A surplus of about $200,000 from last year's budget has been rolled over into the proposed budget for more savings.

For those library patrons in the Town of Brookhaven, the tax increase would amount to approximately a 16-cent increase per $100 of assessed value; for those library patrons in the Town of Smithtown, the increase would be approximately 11 cents.

Last year's budget was approved by a tally of 323 to 71.

A public hearing is set for Wednesday at 7 p.m. The budget vote takes place Oct. 3 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the library.

2012 2013 Increase/(Decrease) Books, Periodicals, Electronic Resources $455,200 $436,500 ($18,700) Videos, CDs & Books on Tape $154,000 $148,000 ($6,000) Adult, Young Adult & Children's Programs $64,500 $64,000 ($500) Library Building Maintenance $256,250 $242,500 ($13,750) Library Operations (maintenance, equipment, software, office supplies, utilities, etc.) $453,100 $444,200 ($8,900) Employee Salaries - Professional $1,334,208 $1,379,778 $45,570 Employee Salaries - Support $1,188,805 $1,260,589 $71,784 Social Security & Retirement Contributions $576,703 $645,387 $68,684 Health Insurance $322,000 $373,520 $51,520 Other Benefits, Insurance, MTA Tax
$35,078 $35,977 $899 Debt Service to Building Expansion $275,709 $276,364 $655 Fines & Other Income $201,000 $299,500 $98,500 Tax Appropriation Requested $4,638,844 $4,730,951 $92,107 Total Operating Budget
$4,839,844 $5,030,451 $190,607

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