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Mayor: Taxes won't increase

The budget process is in full swing and tentatively the tax rate is not expected to increase for Canastota homeowners. Mayor Todd Rouse who also serves as the village's budget officer said all the figures are not yet finalized but taxpayers will not see a tax rate increase. Village residents paid $10.89 per $1,000 of home assessed value last year.

Major factors in the budget include reports from the county that sales tax revenue is down 50 percent. Mortgage taxes and interest income are also down, he said.

"I had to error on the side of caution," Rouse said. Taxpayers may not be affected this year by the drop in revenue but may be affected next year, he said.

The village's overall expenses are slightly lower, mainly because the village went to long-term bonding. Although individual department spending could be higher, Rouse said it will all balance out in the end.

A new police car and mandated upgrades to the police department's computer system and a new lawnmower for the DPW are capital expenses expected to be funded this year.

Street paving was included in the budget. Prospect and Anderson streets will be paved and sections of other streets will be cut out and paved.

"I put $80,000 in [the budget for paving] plus $60,000 to $70,000 in CHIP (County Highway Improvement Program) money," Rouse said. "Last year we probably spent closer to $200,000 and got half of the roads done from the year before. I think it would be a mistake to cut down on paving streets."

Rouse added that Peterboro Street is the state Department of Transportation's responsibility and Roberts, Main and Canal streets are now under the county's jurisdiction when it comes to repairs.

The village has had banked $175,000, received as reimbursement from the county by the state for any lost tax revenue due to the Oneida Indian Nation's non-collection of sales tax. Villages and school districts had to sign an agreement that if required to do so, would pay back the money.

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