North Syracuse adopts 9.4% village tax increase

Village employees volunteer to take salary freeze, unions disagree

With some 200 hours of meetings under its belt, the North Syracuse Village Board presented the most recently revised 2010-11 budget during the board meeting held at 4:30 p.m. April 22 at the Community Center.

The total budget of $4,708,800 reflects a 9.4 percent tax increase. The board previously presented a budget April 8 that would have invoked a 17.7 percent tax increase.

By towns, residents in the town of Cicero will witness a $63.22 increase in their property tax bill and an increase of $79.78 for residents in the town of Clay.

The adopted budget also reflects about $284,563 in reductions from various areas of the village's departments.

Village Mayor Diane Browning said the board also considered a budget model that represented a $4,635,834 total with a 6.1 percent tax increase. This model maintained a smaller tax increase because about $70,000 in salary increase expenses were removed.

However, union representatives for the CSEA, Teamsters Union 1149 and the Teamsters Union 317, refused a salary freeze unless the village would agree to "no layoff year" for 2010-11.

The unions also gathered a concession for no replacements to retirees, Browning said.

Browning said the layoff agreement was unacceptable when the municipality is unsure of how dire the economy might be for 2011-12.

"We can't promise no layoffs," Browning said. "We will be in the process of renegotiating for next year."

The board is aware that only one contract expires this summer, Union 317 for the clerical staff. Both the department of public works and police department's contracts are set until May 2012. With contract timelines in mind, Trustee Mark Atkinson said the board will not hesitate in further meetings for salary negotiations.

Of the $70,000 in salary increases, about $45,000 to $50,000 is appropriated to the village police department's staff, according to Village Treasurer Diane Kufel's calculations.

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