Salina budget calls for ‘nominal’ tax increase

— Salina Supervisor Mark Nicotra presented his preliminary budget to the Salina Town Board at a special meeting Wednesday, Oct. 3.

“I think this is a pretty solid budget,” Nicotra said. “There certainly is room for us to cut some more. That’s more of a board decision than an arbitrary decision by me.”

The budget Nicotra presented Wednesday night calls for an additional $28.08 in taxes on a home assessed at $100,000 for residents living outside the village of Liverpool. For those in the village, the tax increase is 10.08 over 2012.

“It’s a nominal increase, but still an increase that can come down if we work together as we have in past years,” Nicotra said.

The town passed a local law on Sept. 24 to override the state’s 2 percent property tax cap. However, Nicotra’s preliminary budget is below the tax cap.

“We’ve got some wiggle room,” Nicotra said. “We passed the override just in case of some unforeseen issue, and we’ve got that in place just in case.”

There were no major surprises in the budget over last year’s. Major expenses came in the form of workers’ compensation, retirement, pension and insurance costs; those, coupled with revenue losses, combined to cost the town a total of $265,000 since last year. Nicotra said minimal use of the town’s fund balance helps to offset those costs.

“[We’re] still at a very healthy level going forward,” he said.

Nicotra and the town comptroller’s office will work with the board and department heads to continue to trim from the budget in hopes of further decreasing those taxes, he said.

“I know that each of the board members can bring a fresh view of the issues and potentially bring even more reductions to our spending,” he said. “This budget is a work in progress, and I stand ready to work with the town board with an eye toward reducing the tax burden on the taxpayers of Salina.”

The full preliminary budget is available on the town’s website at salina.ny.us. A paper copy is also available at the town clerk’s office. The public hearing on the budget will be held Monday, Oct. 22.

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