UPDATE: Voters approve library budgets

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Riverhead Free Library

UPDATE: The Riverhead Free Library 2011-12 budget passed by 271 to 195 votes, library officials said Tuesday night.

Baiting Hollow Library’s also passed, 255-212.

See the April 7 edition of the News-Review for more coverage.


Riverhead Free Library’s proposed budget goes to voters Tuesday, April 5, and calls for a spending increase of seven percent over this year, with the overall tax levy — the amount collected from the district — rising by 7.95 percent.
Voting will take place from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the library meeting room.

The primary purpose of the vote is to authorize the Riverhead School District to contract for library services with Riverhead Free Library for the 2011-12 school year. The same ballot will also feature a second proposition authorizing the school district to contract for library services with Baiting Hollow Free Library.

The Baiting Hollow budget customarily increases by $100 each year, and proposes to do so again this year, going from $11,500 to $11,600.

Anyone who is a registered voter in the Riverhead School District can vote for both proposals.

Riverhead Library director Lisa Jacobs said the increase is primarily due to a large increase in New York State Retirement payments, high health insurance increases, contractual increases and a high demand for services, especially electronic services, from patrons.

About $250,000 of the library’s $3.3 million proposed spending plan comes from state and federal grants and other aid. The library had 327,678 visitors in 2010, library officials said.

Figuring out property tax rates for the proposed budget will not be possible until later in the year because the three towns in which the library is partially located all have different tax rates and different equalization rates. Changes in that equalization rate, a figure that doesn’t become available until the fall, have caused wild fluctuations in school and library taxes between Riverhead and Southampton towns in recent years.

However, based on current figures, 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 figure increases by 7.95 percent, it would amount to about $12 more next year.

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