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Village of Skaneateles: Property tax rate not increasing

The Skaneateles Village Board heard comments, questions and concerns from residents last Monday, April 12, when Mayor Bob Green presented the proposed budget for 2010-11.

The proposal shows a general fund budget of $3,054,000 and calls for $1,404,164 to be raised by taxes. The village's projected revenue is $1,649, 836.

While the amount to be levied from taxes is more than $1 million, the good news for residents is there will be no sewer rate or property tax rate increase and only a 5 percent water rate increase.

"There's not going to be a property tax increase this year," Green said a few times throughout the budget hearing.

The taxable assessed value increased by $28 million this year, based on the town's revaluation, which has enabled the village to retain its prior year's tax rate of $3.49 per $1,000 assessed valuation.

"To maintain the tax rate, we aren't replacing any equipment this year," Green said, with the exception of a lawn mower for the cemetery.

The West Lake Street reconstruction project will move forward this summer and fall.

"We can't defer another year," Green said.

The project expense will be bonded with the first debt payment to be made in 2012. However, to free up village employees for the project, the board is bringing back two seasonal laborers to maintain Lake View Cemetery.

On the expense side, many of the village's expenses are fixed -- union-contracted labor rates, insurances and the village's contribution to the state retirement system.

During budget preparation, the village has reduced the amount of county sales tax revenue substantially for the first quarter of 2011. According to Green, the village has projected revenue to include a partial payment of $76,000 for the first quarter.

Under the current sales tax agreement with Onondaga County, the village has received $456,000 as of Jan. 31 and is waiting to receive one more quarter.

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