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  • Mamaroneck Observer

Library Releases Proposed 2024-25 Budget

By Kathy Savolt -

The Mamaroneck Public Library released its proposed budget for next fiscal year (June 1, 2024-May 31, 2025) asking for a 5.5% tax increase. See HERE.

Still facing financial difficulties, the budget once again relies on short term financing (Tax Anticipation Note, or TAN) financed through the Village of Mamaroneck. The Village Board of Trustees passed a resolution at their October 23rd meeting guaranteeing this financing.

The total proposed budget is $4.46 million. The major sources of funds are:

Property Tax $3.25 million, or 73%

TAN .77 million, or 17%

Use of Reserve .41 million, or 9%

The Library reports that the proposed operating expenses are 6.6% lower than the current approved budget (prior to austerity cuts the Board made this Spring). These cuts are once again reflected in lower staff costs and the absence of funding to purchase books and recordings, as well as lower amounts for periodicals and programs. The Library Board will continue to pursue fundraising as a way to pay for unbudgeted program expenses. They have raised over $200,000 in contributions since the problem was discovered.

Because of the short term borrowing, debt payments now make up the largest portion of the expenses. Next year, the Library will pay back $1.2 million for the TAN financed by the Village and a payment of $786,500 for financing the new building.

To summarize the major uses of funds:

Debt $1.99 million, or 44%

Personnel 1.88 million, or 42%

Program Delivery (books, periodicals, programs, direct mission delivery)

.47 million, or 10%

Building .36 million, or 8%

As noted above, the Library, which borrowed $1,2 million this fiscal year to balance their budget, is anticipating borrowing another $766,667 next fiscal year and $383,333 in fiscal year 2025-26. The Library Board projects that will be the total borrowing required to address the financial problems uncovered this year and they will be whole by fiscal year 2026-27.

At a Public Meeting held November 1st, Board President Ellen Freeman announced that the forensic auditors had completed their work. They determined that “a small amount” had been misappropriated and the “majority of the problem” was due to misreporting. At this point, all the erroneous journal entries have been corrected. When asked for more detail, Freeman again explained that the matter is still open with the Westchester County District Attorney, and they are not at liberty to release any details until the investigation is complete, which is expected by the end of this calendar year. The Library Board is also working with their insurance company to recoup any funds they can.

The Library tax is approximately 2-2.5% of the Village of Mamaroneck total property tax bills. The Library estimates that a 5.5% increase is equivalent to the cost of two new books for the average taxpayer.

The vote for the Library budget and Trustees will be held on December 6th.


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