The Village News: Editorials

April 12, 2018

Is It a Loan Or a Gift?


EditorialBellport Village just released a copy of the Village’s 2018-2019 Budget, click here for a copy. As usual, the “Enterprise Fund,” which is the Golf Course Greens, the Pro Shop, the Country Club and Grill Room, Men’s Locker Room, and Ladies Locker Room, has its own Budget which is separate from the Village’s Budget.

I’m sure the Mayor and Trustees are very happy to report that they expect revenues of $2,237,483 and expenses of $2,098,817 for a net profit of $138,666 for the Enterprise Fund in the coming year, but this does raise a question.

The Enterprise Fund isn’t owned by the Golfers, the Pro Shop, the Country Club, the Grill Room, or Locker rooms. The Enterprise Fund is owned by the owners of the Incorporated Village of Bellport, the Residents. As such, when times are lean and expenses go up in the Village and in the Enterprise Fund, the Residents are expected to make up the difference by paying higher taxes. The Village and the Enterprise Fund belong to the Residents so the Residents are expected to foot the bill.

This raises an interesting question. When the Enterprise Fund is losing money, as it has in recent years, and the Residents paid higher taxes to make up for the shortfall, were those higher taxes that we all paid a “Loan” to the Enterprise Fund, or were they a “Gift?”

If the money we paid in higher taxes was a Gift, that’s the end of it and we should at least get a “Thank You” card from the Enterprise Fund. However, if the money we paid to keep the Enterprise Fund afloat was a Loan, when is the Enterprise Fund going to start paying us back? How about using some of that $138,666 to reduce our taxes a little or provide some new services that could be enjoyed by at least most of the Residents of the Village? Lots of people benefit from the Enterprise Fund, but almost none of them are Village Residents. Everyone else gets to “Play,” we get to “Pay!” What’s wrong with this picture???

Now, admittedly, $138,666 isn’t a lot of money when compared to the Village’s real budget of $6,464,088, the Village and Enterprise Fund combined. It wouldn’t even put much of a dent in the “Debt” of $925,000 the Residents are responsible for. However, wouldn’t it be nice if the Village Board released a long range plan on how they plan on reducing the Resident’s Indebtedness and taxes? Do they just plan on continuing on, as they have in the past, and simply pass the bill along to the Residents?


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Larry Sribnick

Larry Sribnick