Officials approved the 2009 Van Buren budget last Wednesday.
Van Buren's tax levy (the amount to be raised by property taxes) increased by .55 percent from $1,016,122 in 2008 to $1,021,729 in 2009. However, the overall tax rate decreased for both village and non-village residents. The 2009-tax rate for inside the village is $1.57 per $1,000. For outside the village, the rate is $1.79 per $1,000 (general fund), plus $2.82 per $1,000 (highway fund), for a total of $4.61 per $1,000. This means in 2009, a home within the village assessed at $100,000 will pay $156.88 in general fund taxes while a $100,000 home outside the village will pay $460.96 in taxes. This is a decrease of 1.6 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively.
The decreased tax rate is due partially to the increase in Van Buren's taxable assessed value (up 6.9 percent from last year - $579,464,204 in 2009) and cutbacks within the town. The budget did not include a pay increase for the supervisor or town board members.
"We tried to be fiscally conservative with the budget," Counselor Mary Frances Sabin said.
Officials also took into consideration the declining economy and New York state's increasing debt when computing next year's budget.
"The unofficial word in Albany is at best, state aid will stay at 2008 levels," said Greg Maxwell, town of Van Buren comptroller.
Maxwell presented the budget during a public hearing held last Wednesday, and officials planned to make the presentation available on the town's web site at townofvanburen.com.
Although a close race, Van Buren residents voted to keep Pat Dickman as town counselor over challenger Julie Rosen. Residents also voted to abolish the tax receiver's position within the town, a position that will be absorbed into the town clerk's office.
Memphis FD contract approved
Officials approved a $118,000 one-year contract with the Memphis Fire Department. The contract is split between the towns of Van Buren and Camillus with 82.5 percent ($97,376.57) charged to Van Buren and 17.5 percent ($20,623.43) charged to Camillus based on assessments within the fire district ($52,925,599 assessed value in Van Buren, $11,209,140 assessed value in Camillus).
A public hearing regarding the adoption of a New York State property maintenance code will be held at 7:35 p.m. Tuesday Nov. 18 at Van Buren town hall, 7575 Van Buren Road in Baldwinsville. A draft of the code is available in the town clerk's office.
A public hearing regarding a zone change on Herman and Walters roads from Industrial A to Industrial P (planned unit development) for the proposed Spano Asphalt plant will be held at 7:40 p.m. Tuesday Nov. 18 at Van Buren town hall.