Riverhead Library budget calls for 8% tax hike

02/13/2011 1:30 PM |
Riverhead Library budget calls for 8% tax spike

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | The library's adult services coordinator shows teens last year how to use the county's Livebrary.com software, which allows users to download ebooks and other electronic materials.

Citing ever-rising personnel costs and an increasing demand for electronic services, Riverhead Free Library officials are proposing a 2011-2012 budget that would increase the districtwide tax levy by 7.95 percent if approved by voters April 5.

The tax increase is “primarily due to increased personnel costs,” library director Lisa Jacobs said in a letter to the community. “These include an estimated 44 percent increase in retirement, a double-digit increase in health insurance, and an increased salary line based both on a small contracted increase and the still-high public demand for staff assistance.”

The proposed 7.95 percent increase amounts to $225,531 more in taxes over the current budget, bringing the total to $3.3 million.

“The Board of Trustees and I would have liked nothing better than to present a zero-increase budget to you in this difficult time,” Ms Jacobs continued in her letter. “However, the reality is that many years of conservative budgets, followed by two years of difficult economic times, left us with no fat to be pared from the budget.”

She said library usage continues to be high, and the demand for electronic materials such as e-books is skyrocketing.

The library tax levy increase was 4.37 percent in the current year and 2.6 percent the prior year.

The library tax rate is generally a much smaller percentage of the tax bill than school or town taxes. However, since the Riverhead Free Library district has the same boundaries as the Riverhead School District, figuring out the actual tax rate — and thus, how much more individual homeowners will pay due to the budget increase — usually can’t be done until later in the year because the district is located within three towns, Riverhead, Southampton and Brookhaven. Library and school tax rates are different in each town.

This year, for example, an owner of property assessed at $50,000 (which equates to a market value of about $329,380) in Riverhead Town would pay $4,498 in Riverhead school taxes, $2,268 in town taxes and $155 in library taxes. If that library increased by 7.95 percent, it would amount to about $12 more.

In recent years, the school and library tax rates have shown small increases in the Riverhead Town portion of the district and big increases in the Southampton Town portion due to fluctuations in the equalization rates in the two towns, along with a drop in assessed value in the Southampton Town section of the districts.

These fluctuations are beyond the control of the school and library district, and Southampton Town and New York State officials say they are hoping to enact state legislation to fix this.

The library budget vote will take place on Tuesday, April 5 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the library meeting room.

A budget information meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 8 at 7 p.m. in the library meeting room.


51 Comment

  • Whenever the school or the library district raises taxes they say it’s due to conditions beyond their control. The tax payer is always left holding the bag for this mismanagement. All contracts with employees need to be reviewed. We simply can’t afford generous retirement packages at taxpayer expense.

  • but it’s for the children!!!


  • Just vote NO!!!!!!!!!! That’s all and get as many people as you can. Enough is enough

  • Just vote NO!!!!!!!!!! That’s all and get as many people as you can. Enough is enough

  • 8% increase is about 240K , which is about $30 for an avg taxpayer. Such a small amount explains why only 220 people voted on the budget last year ( i wonder how mny of the voters work at the libraray)

  • Put the date on your calendars and VOTE NO. She needs a reality check. Everyone is loosing jobs/positions and so should the library. I do not use the library at all anymore. No real need with internet at home. If you have a program, up the cost to run it or don’t run it. Cut the hours of operation down so you do not need two shifts- save on salaries and utilities. Cut 1 librarian and the benefits that go with it. Public needs to go March 8 and voice their concern and maybe she can come in with a better budget before we knock this one down.

  • Vote no and ask them and the town to move these votes to ELECTION DAY. These sneaky votes are nonsense. The calendar should be changed for best effect. LAst time I think only 300 people turned out for the library vote AND they got the raise. That was LAST YEAR! Tell the neighbors to vote, tell the town and the library to move their sneaky votes to a better publicized day.

    Then call the county and the state and see if they can collapse some of these nonsense districts and reduce the management overhead. How many library, school and water administrators do we really need in Suffolk?

  • That and bad info on the vote being held

  • Outrageous. Vote NO. They should focus more on buying books, and less on electronics and spending money on themselves.

  • Enough is enough already! Libraries are irrelevant in the digital age. They have got some nerve. I haven’t had a raise in 3 years and my co- workers are being let go. Property values are plummeting. I am sick and tired of being every public entity’s personal ATM! Vote NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • maybe the administration should give up their raises

  • one person retired and the underpaid staff had to unionize in order to get a 2% raise-after years of less than COL raises. Yes, there are some expenses that could be cut (landscaping, maybe)but do you really want to deprive your friends and neighbors of a living wage?
    And where else can you get these services for free?

  • one person retired and the underpaid staff had to unionize in order to get a 2% raise-after years of less than COL raises. Yes, there are some expenses that could be cut (landscaping, maybe)but do you really want to deprive your friends and neighbors of a living wage?
    And where else can you get these services for free?

  • Library workers-your neighbors–have not had a raise either. Have you heard of the digital divide? Not everyone in Riverhead has a computer, i phone or i pad either. Kids get to go to programs instead of the streets or in front of a TV, parents meet other parents, staff help everyone, regardless of income and the books and dvds are free, something your co-workers might find useful.

  • I think the theme of the compensation has 2 components.
    1. library workers are already overpaid … taking into consideration benefits, working conditions , protection from layoff etc. I think this inference is connected to the view that many teacher/ admin are overpaid, and protected . Maybe this has no basis , maybe it does.
    2. Most everyone else in the community continues to suffer , and by exposed without protection…so why should library staff not suffer along with the rest of RVHD citizens.

  • You are ridiculous. Move away.

  • You are ridiculous. Move away.

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  • you’re beyond gracious!

  • Guest must be a teacher!!!
    Give your name and we will find out how much you are OVERpaid!!

  • HAHA most schools are “union free” really? REALLY??? Teachers unions are the worst unions out there. Out of all the teachers I had through my pre-college education only 3 made a positive impact on me. Others like Mr. Westgate who was normally high in class would let everyone grade their own tests – really is this education or a bilking of the taxpayers and degradation of the students???

  • I know as a Times/Review employee I am probably disqualified, but I wanted to throw in my two cents anyway.

    Best Picture: The King’s Speech
    Director: Fincher-Social Network
    Actress: Portman
    Actor: Firth
    Supporting Actor: Bale
    Supporting Actress: Leo

    Basically, I agree with Troy.

  • I agree with Vera!! I saw most of the movies, and these are definitely my picks!

    Best Picture: The King’s Speech
    Director: Fincher-Social Network
    Actress: Portman
    Actor: Firth
    Supporting Actor: Bale
    Supporting Actress: Leo

  • My Picks;
    Best Picture: The Kings Speach
    Best Director: True Grit
    Best Actress:Natalie Portmean
    Best Actor:Colin Firth
    Supporting Actress:Halie Steinfeld
    Supporting Actor:Geofrey Rush

  • BEST PICTURE: “The Social Network”

    BEST DIRECTOR: And the winner is: David Fincher (“The Social Network”)

    BEST ACTRESS: Michelle Williams (“Blue Valentine”)

    BEST ACTOR: Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”)

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Melissa Leo (“The Fighter”)

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christian Bale (“The Fighter”).

  • Best Picture: Social Network
    Best Director: Joel and Ethan Coen
    Best Actress:Natalie Portman
    Best Actor:Colin Firth
    Supporting Actress:Helena Carter
    Supporting Actor:Christian Bale

  • BEST PICTURE: “Inception”
    BEST DIRECTOR: Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”)
    BEST ACTRESS: Natalie Portman (“Black Swan”)
    BEST ACTOR: Leonardo DiCaprio (“Inception”)
    BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Hailee Steinfeld (“True Grit”)
    BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christian Bale (“The Fighter”).

  • Best picture-the social network
    Actor-Colin firth
    Actress-Natalie Portman
    Supporting actress-Leo
    Supporting actor-Bale

  • BEST PICTURE: The Social Network
    BEST DIRECTOR: Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)
    BEST ACTRESS: Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
    BEST ACTOR: Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)
    BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
    BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christian Bale (The Fighter)

  • best picture: the social network, and david fincher, director, to win. best actress: natalie portman to win. best actor: colin firth to win ( everyone’s in love w/him this year, though franco is a strong contender). best supporting actor: christian bale to win. best supporting actress: melissa leo to win (although my vote would go to lesley manville)

  • As a matter of fact, Mr. Edelson, I did watch the movies in question in the homes of the Academy members in question. But thanks for the lecture, nevertheless.

  • Best Pic: The Social Network
    Dirctor: Fincher
    Actress: Natalie Portman
    Actor: Colin Firth
    Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo
    Supporting Actor: Christian Bale

  • Picture: Social Network
    Director: David Fincher
    Actor: Colin Firth
    Actress: Annette Bening
    Supp. Actor: Chrisitan Bale
    Supp. Actree: Melissa Leo

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