Village of North Syracuse mulls 17.7 percent tax levy

Residents share concerns for employee benefits, village police department

The North Syracuse Village Board revealed a 17.7 percent tax increase within its preliminary 2010-11 budget during the 7:29 p.m. April 8 public hearing held at the Community Center.

Village Treasurer Diane Kufel presented the village budget for the public hearing. In her 10 years with the village, Kufel said this tax increase is "largest" she has seen.

The tax breakdown for village residents living in the town of Cicero is a 16.3 percent tax increase, and 17.4 percent.

The tax rate for total assessed property in the town of Cicero is $190.38 per $1,000 and $215.95 per $1,000 for Clay. With theses calculations, a property in Cicero would have a tax bill of $913.82, which translates into a $143.47 increase from last year. Clay properties would endure a $170.69 increase.

Even with an implemented spending moratorium, the total of cuts from the initial budget is estimated at $284,563.

The line-by-line budget was revered as "astronomical" by one resident, while many others addressed the board to share their comments and suggestions.

The village's employment expenses and police department received much of the residents' scrutiny. As of now, the village's employee benefits totals $979,982 with a 1.3 percent increase, because of existing contracts and negotiations. Employment benefits account for 20 percent of the total budget.

Village Mayor Diane Browning said the Village Board is not taking a salary increase for the upcoming year.

As well, Browning said she will be taking a three percent salary reduction for 2010-11 as village mayor. She also added that the village trustees have not taken a raise in three years, to her knowledge.

The Village Board also mentioned that there will be revisions in the current union contracts, if representatives will entertain the possibility. Browning said some village employees have already opted for scheduled pay increases, however, she said she feels more staff will come forward to do the same as it is discussed further.

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