Last week, the town of Lysander held a well-attended public hearing on the proposed 2014 budget of $4,821,571, up from $4,292,927 in 2013.
2014 Lysander budget summary:
Total expenditures: $4,821,571
Total revenues: $1,489,010
Total appropriated fund balance: $374,000
Amount to be raised by taxes: $2,958,561
Lysander residents can expect an increase of 37.8 percent in their property taxes, while residents in the village of Baldwinsville will see a 58.7 percent increase. This means that an owner of a house assessed at $100,000 in Lysander will pay $219.21 in property taxes (up from last year’s $159.05), while an owner of a $100,000 home in Baldwinsville will pay $84.85 (up from last year’s $53.47). While normally the tax levy can only increase by two percent, the town board voted on Oct. 28 to override that limit.
The 2014 budget increase is due in part to an increase of $528,644 in expenditures, up 11 percent from last year. These expenditures are from payroll, equipment, contractual agreements and debt. $290,000 of the increase is for additional highway improvement based on the recently conducted Cornell Local Roads Pavement Management Program study, which advises a total of $8.5 million in road improvements in the town.
In the presentation, comptroller David Rahrle noted that there are no wage increases for the town board, bargaining employees, or non bargaining employees, and that benefit costs are decreasing by $40,000 as retirees will be moved to the Medicare Advantage plan. Rahrle also pointed out that two other reasons for the tax increase are a $3.5 million decrease in taxable assed value, and less expenditure from the Appropriated Funds Balance, basically the town’s rainy day fund.
Resident Tim Dwyer expressed concern that the tax hike would act as a deterrent for people looking to move to Lysander, and encouraged the board to try to think long-term.