Liverpool mulls tax increase

For the first time in 14 years, village property taxes are on the rise in Liverpool.

"Due to Onondaga County taking half of the village sales tax money," said Mayor Gary White, "our budget will be short on revenues by $285,000."

To make up the shortfall, village government anticipates raising taxes by approximately 22 percent.

"It'll all depend on how the numbers shake out, "White said, "but whatever tax increase we approve, it'll be partially offset by the decrease in the county tax rate."

The village's current budget is $2.1 million.

Last year, when the village property tax rate was $9.76 per $1,000 of assessed value, a home assessed at $100,000 received a tax bill for $976. In 2011, that same property owner would pay $1,191 - an increase of $235 - if the board of trustees approves the 2011 budget as expected. All properties in the village must also pay a $150-per unit sewer rent charge

Liverpool must approve its 2011-12 budget by April 30.

Pre-budget session

The likelihood of a tax increase was discussed in detail at a Jan. 31 pre-budget session at Village Hall.

For the past ten years nearly one-quarter of the village's $2 million budget -$550,000 - came from its share of the 4 percent county sales tax. Last May 4 the Onondaga County Legislature voted to retain a larger share of the $280 million it collects in sales tax annually.

At the pre-budget session Liverpool Trustee Nick Kochan said the county's maneuver made it difficult for towns and villages to balance their budgets.

"With the sales-tax decision," Kochan said, "we were dealt a lousy hand by the county. It's been really hard."

Rather than cut village services, White said, "In my personal opinion, I'd rather dig into my pocket and pay the extra $235, and that's going to be offset somewhat by the $132 decrease in the county tax rate."

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