Westhampton Beach Library Budget Under Tax Cap

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The Westhampton Free Library Board has adopted a proposed $2.63 million spending plan for the 2013-2014 fiscal year that, if approved by taxpayers, would help the library continue to grow into a community center for years to come.

The plan increases overall spending by almost $72,000, or 2.8 percent, over the current year’s $2.56 million budget, according to Library Director Danielle Zubiller. The plan, which comes in below the state mandated 2-percent tax levy increase cap, will increase the tax levy by just more than $33,000, or 1.64 percent, from $2.06 million this year to $2.09 million next year.

If approved, the library’s tax rate will increase from 46 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation to just over 48 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, according to Ms. Zubiller. That means, a taxpayer whose house is assessed at $500,000 next year can expect to pay $236.91 in library taxes, an increase of $8.11 over the current year’s $228.80.

Taxpayers can vote on the budget plan on Tuesday, May 21, at the same time as the Westhampton Beach School District budget at the high school on Lilac Road. The polls open at 7 a.m. and will remain open until 9 p.m.

According to Ms. Zubiller, the spending plan will allow the library—which serves residents in Westhampton Beach, Westhampton, Quiogue, Remsenburg, Eastport, South Manor, East Moriches, East Quogue, and Speonk areas—to continue to grow its community programs. Next year, the library plans to introduce more adult education courses, American Sign Language, and online courses for patrons. The district is also looking to start a literacy program.

Starting Memorial Day weekend, the library will also be extending its hours throughout the summer. It will remain open until 10 p.m. on weekdays, 7 p.m. on Saturdays and 5 p.m. on Sundays.

“Being a community center will always be our goal, it will never be finished,” Ms. Zubiller said this week. “Our community changes so we are constantly assessing the needs of the community. We look forward to serving those needs.”

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