The Tupper Lake Village Board.
Tupper Lake Village Board members began the process of crafting a 2012-13 budget this past week with the expectation of adopting a spending plan by May 1.
And while trustees may exceed the state’s mandated 2 percent tax levy increase, Mayor Paul Maroun says the tax rates in the village will not increase due to the revaluation of real property this year in the town of Tupper Lake.
“Normally in a reval, a third of the properties go up, a third go down, and a third stay the same. I haven’t looked at all the figures, but I‘m guessing it was roughly like that,” Maroun said at the April 16 Village Board meeting. “If your house was assessed the same as it was last year, you will have a tax reduction this year.”
Not all houses will be assessed at the same level they were before the reval, as the town of Tupper Lake’s assessment rose by about $32 million, from $105,347,054 in 2011 to $137,525,069 in 2012.
The post-reval tax rate is now $15.26 per $1,000 assessed, down from $15.54 per $1,000. And that tax rate decrease is giving the Village Board leverage to possibly increase the tax levy more than the 2 percent tax cap.
“I’ve recommended to the board that we try and put some of the increased value in dollars into accounts so that next year we don’t have to have a dramatic increase in the tax rate … that we have a reserve fund,” Maroun said. “There’s only two things we can do. We can reduce the tax levy by a large amount and then be in trouble next year or try to put it into different accounts that we may or may not have to use, whichever is not expended roll over into our reserve account. We’re trying to be steadfast so that we have a steady ship.”
During the annual budget hearing on Friday, April 13, Village Board members passed a local law giving them approval to raise the tax levy above 2 percent.
“Because we’re putting it (the local law) into place doesn’t mean we’re going to (exceed a 2 percent increase),” Trustee Chip Perham said at the April 16 meeting.
The proposed spending plan is up 9.9 percent to $2,627,109.50, and the proposed tax levy is up about 28 percent to $2,099,066.50.
“We’ll be making some cuts,” Maroun said. “I really don’t know how it’s going to shake out yet.”
When the mayor asked trustees if they had anything else to add about the budget process, Trustee Leon LeBlanc said, “Sharpen your pencils.”
The Village Board planned a budget work session for 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 18 with department managers, including the department of public works, police department, water/wastewater department and electric department. A date had not been set to discuss the fire department budget by press time.
A special meeting will be held 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 1 to adopt the 2012-13 village budget.