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North Syracuse drafts 8.5 percent village tax increase

Village Board cuts $191,000, places salary freezes across the board

The North Syracuse Village Board hosted a special budget meeting to discuss opportunities to lower the proposed 17.7 percent tax increase, which was presented April 8.

Village of North Syracuse Mayor Diane Browning met with three trustees and the village treasurer at 1 p.m. Thursday April 15 in the Village Hall basement conference room.

Village Treasurer Diane Kufel presented her suggestions after she had spent the past week going through the 2010-11 budget, line-by-line.

The budget as of today reflects an estimated tax increase that will fall between 8.5 and 9 percent after a little more than $191,000 in reductions was made. The current estimate for the total budget is $4,639,000.

Kufel said the board's implementation for a "salary freeze" made the biggest difference in the tax rate decrease.

"It might not be good for morale," Kufel said about the salary freeze. "It needs to be done or we will have raise taxes."

The Onondaga County sales tax contribution is still unclear. The Village Board decided to budget for $950,000 in sales tax revenue for the 2010-11 budget, instead of its usual $1.1 million.

"I would feel more comfortable if we budgeted less," Kufel said.

The board will vote on these changes at the April 22 meeting; however the entire budget will be re-visited during June or July when the sales tax agreement is closer to completion.

"That [sales tax] could change everything," Kufel said.

Because the village faces the chance to lose 100 percent of its sales tax revenue, Kufel said further "drastic changes could be made."

With the salary freeze comes necessary negotiations with the workers' unions, such as the CSEA, Teamsters Union 1149 and the Teamsters Union 317.

Union 1149, the village of North Syracuse Police Department's representation, is in the process of negotiating a one-year salary freeze that is contingent upon a possible retirement, and agreements to not fill vacated positions.

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