MAMARONECK, N.Y. - To maintain its service level, the Mamaroneck Library is proposing a 18.25 percent tax levy increase in the 2012-2013 budget, set for a vote Dec. 14. The increase would cost the average village resident an estimated $75 more per year. In the first year of the new Mamaroneck Library , the additional operating costs of the building, in addition to rising costs for health insurance and retirement expenses would require the increase in order to maintain the same service, said Steve Warner, treasurer of the library's Board of Trustees. "Over the last few years we've tried very hard to maintain a very low increase in our budget," said Warner, who presented the proposed budget at Monday's village Board of Trustees meeting. "But going forward our budget is going to increase."The library board believes this increase is a one-time thing. Operating costs increased a total of 2.8 percent to $1,823,000, about 1.7 percent of which pays for state-mandated retirement costs, according to the library's website . The debt service on the new building is $895,731. The library also restores one full-time staff position, two below the 2008 levels prior to the renovation. The library budgeted $30,000 less for books and materials, and saved $18,000 by making health insurance changes, which will require higher co-pays for staff. "This is a real cost that our library staff has to bear, because they also are not going to be getting significant increases," Warner said. "This is coming directly out of their pocket. But this is no different than what everybody else is asking of municipal employees going forward."If the budget does not pass Dec. 14, it will revert to the current 2011-2012 levy and result in drastic cuts in staff, hours, programs and collections. Warner estimated the library's shortfall would be between $300,000 and $350,000.Village residents can vote at the Library Dec. 14, or by absentee ballot, which can be found here , or picked up at the library. To view the full proposed 2012-2013 budget, click here .
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