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Village of Camillus approves $.77 tax increase

The Camillus village board approved its 2011 budget - with $1.02 million total spending - at a special meeting held Monday Nov. 29.

Mayor Michael Montero and trustees Bridget Yule, James Palumbo and Bill Cody voted in favor while trustee Anne Clancy voted against.

The approved tax rate increased by $.42 per $1,000 assessed value from the public hearing held Nov. 9 - bringing the rate to $6.60 per $1,000. Montero said the number had to be raised because the town had miscalculated the village's assessed value at $40 million - $3 million short of its actual value. Residents will still see a decrease in their property taxes, as the county lowered its rate by $1.34 per $1,000 this year.

The village board borrowed $20,000 from its unexpended fund balance of $120,000 to keep the tax rate from going any higher. Montero said the village was faced with losses of $80,000 in county sales tax revenue and $3,000 in state aid.

Clancy felt there wasn't enough money in the proposed budget to account for potential losses of revenue.

"As we speak the state legislature is trying to find another $300 million in their budget, and one of the things to be discussed is the AIM (Aid and Incentives to Municipalities) program, which is $27,000 of our revenue, which may disappear," Clancy said.

She also felt the village board should consider risk factors related to the age of the village's infrastructure, further noting the village's low elevation and potential for flooding.

"Nobody really even knows how North Street was built ... because all of those plans caught on fire years ago," she said. "If that ever caves in, that could be a huge problem."

Before passing the budget, the village board moved $3,000 from engineering to sidewalk repairs, Montero noting that if there's no money for projects, why budget for an engineer to draw up plans?

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