The East Hampton Town Board formally adopted the its proposed budget of $90.355 million for 2023 at its meeting last Thursday. The adoption, by unanimous vote, followed a Nov. 3 public hearing.
The budget stays under the New York State-mandated tax-levy cap by $16,688. The tax rate inside a village will increase by .27 percent, or 3.3 cents per $100 of assessed value, and outside a village it will increase by .48 percent, or 16 cents per $100 of assessed value.
The budget increases spending over the current fiscal year by 5.64 percent, or $4.8 million, with the difference largely reflecting salary increases for employees. Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said last month that the raises represent an effort to remain competitive in attracting and retaining staff, particularly given inflation and the cost of housing on the South Fork.
Salary increases average between 5.5 and 10 percent for union and non-represented employees. The budget also reflects 16 promotions, many of them within the highway and sanitation departments. Two new full-time police officers, an ordinance enforcement officer, two ordinance inspectors, an additional animal control officer, and a new, full-time maintenance mechanic position will also be added.
The board agreed to a change to the preliminary budget as heard on Nov. 3 relating to subcontractor costs, a promotion for an employee in the aquaculture department, and a promotion to a recently approved harbormaster position. Funding for the latter promotion will be offset by a decrease in department overtime costs.
The budget will take effect on Jan. 1, 2023.