Glen Cove City Council on Tuesday approved a $63.3 million budget for 2023, reducing spending by $1.4 million compared to the budget currently adopted.
The spending plan, the first under Mayor Pamela Panzenbeck since her election last year, includes no increase in residential property tax and a 4.4% reduction in commercial property tax. Total property tax collection will decrease from $33.3 million to $33.2 million.
The budget passed by a 5-2 vote and gets an $800,000 augmentation through a one-time payment from Nassau County to correct miscalculated reimbursements the county received from PILOT arrangements — payment in lieu of taxes — over a decade has, said Panzenbeck.
The error was reported during a 2021 audit by the city’s Industrial Development Agency’s Office of the State Comptroller. This audit found that some of the payments that should have gone to Glen Cove, the school district, and the library had been made to Nassau County instead.
Panzenbeck said the city will receive the payment from the county in early 2023 and that $565,000 of that will be used in the general fund to help flatten tax rates.
“I wanted to benefit taxpayers now as a tax relief given the current inflation and the high prices that we are seeing at the pump,” said Panzerbeck at the budget presentation in City Hall.
The mayor said she and City Controller Michael Piccirillo have been in talks with the county about reimbursement of the PILOT funds since the spring.
“We felt like this year it was time for this particular economy to give that money back to our residents,” Panzerbeck said.
The budget cut ferry operations by $2.2 million, which was part of the 2022 budget but mostly went unspent because the ferry service is not operating. It was supposed to start in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted those plans.
“We’re starting this process all over again,” Panzenbeck said of the return to service, which she hopes will happen by the end of next year.
Councilor Joseph Capobianco said during the meeting that Glen Cove was having trouble finding operators.
“It’s incredibly difficult to find an operator for the ferry at a reasonable price,” Capobianco said. “No one wants to work with us because they are unsure about the revenue. They are unsure about the number of drivers.”