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Long Beach Proposes $87.9M Budget

City releases blueprint summery of 2012-13 spending plan that calls for 11.9 tax increase.


The City of Long Beach released a summary blueprint of a proposed $87.9 million budget for 2012-2013, representing a $4 million increase from the current spending plan, on Tuesday night.

While the budget summary boasts approximately $920,000 in net savings due to departmental spending cuts, it also includes at 11.9 tax increase, a product of paying down a $10 million deficit over three years “by way of a separate temporary inherited deficit reduction surcharge,” the summary reads, as well as a 4.1 increase to the general fund tax levy.

“The initial budget blueprint sketches out a responsible framework to return the City to balanced budgeting,” the summary reads.

It aslo states that if the city did not follow through on "spending cuts, personnel cost reductions, and necessary property tax revenue in order to reduce the staggering deficit left by the previous administration, the alternatives are even more severe: A tax hike of approximately 41%."

Both Councilmen John McLaughlin and Michael Fagen said on Tuesday that they had only received a blueprint of the budget. Fagen called it a disappoint document.

"I don't know what the administration has been doing for the last three months, but coming up with a 40 percent tax increase over three years without a real cost savings plan is just unacceptable," he wrote in an email to Patch.

Last April, the prior Republican administration proposed a $83.9 million budget for the current fiscal year.

inplainsight April 12, 2012 at 11:00 AM
the administration has been more open and transparent than any previous. The inherited deficit from the friends and neighbors we all know is devastating. The 11.9 is for three years and then stops, the water, sanitation, and every fee the previous adminraised is permanent. The city tax is one of the low ends of tax bill and that percent will average $100 per home with the additional $200 covering the deficit in three years without loss of services. this is fiscal prudence and we are going in the right direction
Patrick Smith April 12, 2012 at 11:34 AM
boycott this 12% increase on the highest property tax scam in the country,highest per square foot,take this to the courts
john c. April 12, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Don't forget her associate Gina Guma
Dirk Gorman April 12, 2012 at 12:22 PM
The ratio between the price of homes and property taxes is already unsustainable. Middle class Americans can afford the home but not the taxes, driving new families away from LB, selecting different Long Island communities to raise their kids. This has a damaging effect, first it becomes a rent-only community--transient and less connected. Unfortunately, things change in tough times and maybe it is time that the council needs to consider being more business friendly, utilizing LB's greatest asset--the boardwalk--and drive new sales tax generated revenue. Too many commercial locations are vacant, a sheer sign that conditions are not business friendly. Need to be smart but also realistic, just increasing property taxes takes zero skill. If this is the only answer then why have a board or council?
Just a Resident April 12, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Seek sponsors for summer events and beach expenses. Why not have advertisers like Rayban or any sun screen manufacturer pay for the lifeguards. Put ads on the ticket booths to pay for the ticket takers. And why not have photo ID beach passes. Too many people pass them under the rails to waiting friends. Make sure that every single concert on the beach is fully paid for and sponsored. Make sure that the boardwalk festivals, fall festival and art show MAKE money for the city. Get rid of summer hours at City Hall. There's air conditioning now. Why does everyone still get out an hour early? Get rid of "turkey" money given out every year.
Candygram for Mongo April 12, 2012 at 01:27 PM
i picked up on some of your comments, but ultimately had to give up on account of the grammar issues. Now get back to work.
kevin sturm April 12, 2012 at 01:30 PM
how about we just start enforcing some of our traffic laws...there is a boat load of money to be made [roughly 2 mil a year ] 3 things can happen 1 we can make the streets safer 2 we can have a larger police presents and 3 the city can make a money ...someone please tell me where the down side to this is ... lets get the lbpd generating some $$$$ for the city to offsett their salaries which by the way are very high..there are many ways to make some money for this town without raising taxes
toolittle April 12, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Agreed .
Misty April 12, 2012 at 02:08 PM
With the crowds we have at the beach each summer, I cannot believe that the money generated from beach pass sales doesn't somehow float this city. Additionally, hiking up the prices of parking tickets from Memorial Day to Labor Day could dig us out of this financial hole in one summer. I agree with Mr. Sturm. The police need to step up and work smarter and more efficiently. Start with cell phone tickets and go from there.
delete me April 12, 2012 at 03:42 PM
^ well the summer beach sales have previously been skimmed from. this summer we'll see a big difference if they hold workers who sell passes responsible. also, its been relatively easy to buy multiple resident family passes without proper ID.
sharon April 12, 2012 at 04:10 PM
i agree with Misty - INCLUDE tickets for TEXTING & DRIVING - !!
JP Ashcroft April 12, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Now to tackle the 800 lb gorilla! Has anybody seen the Police contract and why haven't we heard the details. Are they still receiving FREE health care? Are they paying into their pensions? They account for 30-33% of the budget but yet no one has heard what they have been promised. Someone needs to speak up.
Nathan Jessup April 12, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Freeze overtime for all unions ,layoff across the board and hire as little help for the summer and get our finances back in order and stop the political bantering and blaming. I voted for henessesy years ago and these guys this last election. Stop slaying each other and fix the city. Enough already.
Roy De Young April 12, 2012 at 07:22 PM
This is the same story in practically every city in our country; while we were asleep government got fat and lazy. The city should be reducing taxes instead of increasing, period. This is not radical thinking, it is how we, the citizens will survive on our shrinking incomes. The excess of goverment in Long Beach is deplorable. Reduce the police force, their rediculous salaries and benefits to start. Examine education department salaries and benefits. All government salaries and benefits need to be slashed and reduced by a citizen appointed group. I hope people wake up and say NO to a tax increase and begin the slashing.
Neutron April 12, 2012 at 09:23 PM
This budget blueprint is just plain disingenuous. Maybe it would be OK if it had been a summary sheet given out with the full budget, but as it stands it appears to be a way to withhold information from the residents. Why aren’t we seeing the full budget? Why aren’t residents getting the data they need to make educated decisions? In the 2011 – 2012 city budget about 81.5% of the budget goes to employee salaries and benefits. Another 8.5% goes to pay the City’s debt. That is 90% of the budget right there. The math is pretty straightforward. The majority of the budget goes to pay for employees. The budget can no longer afford to support the city’s work force at its current staffing levels. Mr. Schnirman himself has said that if the city did not take measures to address the problem, 20% of the City’s workforce would have to be laid off. Even he recognizes where cuts need to be made. We have some fine people working for this city. They are our neighbors and our friends. No one wants to see people lose their jobs, but the simple fact is that at this time we cannot afford the current payroll. The City keeps borrowing money to pay for a workforce we can no longer financially sustain. It’s an unpleasant truth, but a truth that must be faced nevertheless.
Patrick Smith April 12, 2012 at 09:33 PM
need to join town of hemstead ,keep the tax money from scam artists in city hall inc
marcy April 12, 2012 at 10:03 PM
I have a great suggestion: recycling is a mess. why not fine those that don't recycle? generates a lot of money and also keeps our city clean. Another suggestion is to start fining folks that are texting and talking on their phones while driving. any given day I see at least a dozen folks on their phones (in their hands) or texting within a 10 block radius. Hire me! I can "police" our recycling and our law breakers without having to use our cope who are freed up to do what they are hired to do. Hold people accountable.... This works in Brooklyn and the city...it can certainly work here.
The real bear April 12, 2012 at 10:06 PM
White Mamba really? I work in the private sector 6 days a week and get a half hour for lunch. Nor do I frequent a golf course. I think you are needed on the Obama campaign or the recall election in Wisconsin with that rhetoric.
The real bear April 12, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Inplainsight do you enjoy working in Long Beach? Is it better then Brookhaven?
Mike0427 April 14, 2012 at 06:26 PM
I just joined today and I agree with you 100%.
Mike0427 April 14, 2012 at 06:29 PM
I wonder what the planned audit of the crew running this now will show?
Mike0427 April 14, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Why not use vending machines to dispense daily beach passes? They can accept credit cards thus eliminating the "suspected" skimming of cash. Put several at the LB railroad station and at other locations around town if it makes economical sense that they will reduce costs and increase profit. This city has a website. Do we sell beach passes there? People could order them in advance. This would remove the potential of the "suspected" skimming of cash. I do wonder what that audit will show. Just throwing out an idea or two, not a financial expert on cost and savings.
Love This City April 16, 2012 at 04:03 AM
"Imposition of New York State sponsored Financial Control Board, resulting in a loss of autonomy and local control over service priorities " Haven't we already been taken over by management from non-locals from Brookhave? Would it be any worse being taken over by the state?
True Colors Shining Through April 16, 2012 at 10:29 AM
Well said Tom.
paul.d.spellman April 16, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Great move with the increased beach pass fees. The residents summer pass increases 20%, but the people who come down and buy daily passes do not see any increase? Here is an idea: Take the non resident summer pass and increase that from $100 to $150 and leave my summer resident pass alone.
ally K April 20, 2012 at 10:44 AM
Why does RVC and LB have about the same number of students however LB has a bigger budget? Rockville Centre schools have better tests scores than LB.
Publius April 20, 2012 at 02:36 PM
The proposed budget is available for all to see now. I encourage those from all points of view to spend some time looking it over. This fiscal problem was not created over night and it will take hard work to right the ship. But salary raises while we are in a "fiscal emergency" -- that's a bit much. And look at how many supervisors, superintendents, assistant supervisors, assistant superintendents, and how many prinicpal clerks, clerks, assistant clerks there are. Rightsizing the City's workforce to what the residents can afford should not fall mostly on the backs of the "rank and file" making $40,000, but on the multiple layers of supervision and admin. Take a look at the number of departments related to water and sewer -- 5, including clerk/admin, with 9 "super"-somethings, as distinguished from mechanics or operators or laborers. Look at Central garage, with 2 supervisor/managers. Look at the number of employees "maintaining" the Municipal Building. I am just throwing out things that are on the page, as examples of things that make you at least want to inquire....
paul.d.spellman April 20, 2012 at 03:29 PM
"Consider all options regarding the Waldbaum’s Shopping Center property, which is currently leased for $82,400 per year." The city gets less than $7K a month for the waldbaum's property and that poor schlub is going to pay $1750 for a west end closet to sell donuts? Who owns that Waldbaums lease? A very friendly family I would guess.....
rocco beldelli May 03, 2012 at 01:55 PM
hey paul you sound like you have a lot of money why dont you bail out the city if your so for them and with all your free time you could even volunteer your services cmon be a nice guy
rocco beldelli May 03, 2012 at 02:02 PM
i coudnt agree with you more and who is this guy paul it sounds like hes got his hands on some of this money this guy does not make any sense

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