North Syracuse The North Syracuse village board passed a $4.6 million budget on Thursday, April 12 by a margin of four to one. The new budget, which covers the fiscal year running from June 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013, calls for a 1.4 percent increase in property taxes for residents.
The tax increase comes down to about $10 on a $75,000 house, according to Mayor Mark Atkinson.
Most board members were pleased with how the budget turned out.
“I think this is a good budget,” Trustee Gary Butterfield told the mayor. “I think you've done an excellent job putting it together. Mandates are driving not only local government, but federal and state, too. It's sad to see. We're running as lean as we possibly can. Much of our budget isn't driven by us it's driven by others.”
Atkinson was relatively satisfied with the budget. He said his cost-cutting measures were an extension of what former Mayor Diane Browning had begun.
“Changes that were made included consolidating positions, converting some full time positions to part time and changing contracts for professional services to realize savings,” he said. “All in all, village operational spending is down almost half a million dollars.”
He did acknowledge problems with expenses that were out of the village's control.
“Although our spending is down, the cost of doing business continues to rise at an alarming rate,” he said. “The average village in New York has experienced a 2,000 percent increase in pension costs. The cost of providing health insurance to employees has drastically increased. Everyone is familiar with the increasing energy costs.”
Total appropriations for the budget were up over $65,000 from last year. Total appropriations for the 2011-12 budget were $4,493,110, while this year that number is $4,558,249.
Some department budgets went up while others went down.