Mar 30, 2011 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
The village of Liverpool’s proposed 2011-12 budget was unveiled March 21 at the board of trustees meting. The budget calls for $2,223,428 in spending, reported Village Clerk Mary Ellen Sims.
“The 2010-2011 general fund budget was $2,194,143, which is approximately $30,000 lower than the proposed 2011-2012 budget,” Sims said.
The 2011-12 budget includes planned purchases for a police vehicle, truck and snow-blower for a total of $64,500, the clerk pointed out.
“If these purchases were not in the proposed budget,” she said, “the actual spending for 2011-12 would be about $35,000 less than this year.”
Mayor Gary White said that village governments are struggling this year to make up for hundreds of thousands of dollars they no longer receive from Onondaga County’s sales tax revenue-sharing program.
“Due to Onondaga County taking half of the village sales tax money,” White said, “our budget is short on revenues by $285,000.”
To make up the shortfall, village property taxes will rise by approximately 22 percent. It’ll be the first time in 14 years that village taxes have gone up.
Village residents are invited to discuss the proposed budget at a public hearing at 7 p.m. April 11, at the Village Hall, 310 Sycamore St. Liverpool must approve its 2011-12 budget by April 30.
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.
The county tax rate for village property owners went down by $1.32 per thousand, due to the sales-tax decision. So, for $100,000 homeowners, their village tax bills “will be offset somewhat by the $132 decrease in the county tax rate,” the mayor said.
In formulating the proposed budget, Sims said, “Village department heads did their best to keep their budgets the same as last year or lower.”
“We really scratched around to come up with the best budget we thought we could live with,” he said. “I think we did well.” For instance, he said, the village has managed to cut back on costs for health-care payments.
Last year, the village collected $1,184,717 in property taxes. The balance of its budget comes from sources such as court fines, fees, Gleason Mansion rental income, interest income and the county’s new Village Infrastructure Program which was established in lieu of sales-tax revenue sharing.
“I was extremely discouraged and disturbed by the actions of our county legislators [regarding the restructuring of the sales-tax agreement],” White said. “Their actions were very disingenuous.”
Trustee Nick Kochan called the county’s new Village Infrastructure Program “more government obfuscation.”
Trustee Dennis Hebert, who is a professional financial analyst, predicted that when election time rolls around this fall, “Those legislators will tell you they worked hard to get you a tax decrease of $1.32 [per $1,000 assessed value], but they won’t tell you what they took away.”