Nov 13, 2013 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
The Van Buren Town Council unanimously approved a 2014 budget of $4.75 million at its monthly meeting on Nov. 6, at the Town Hall on Van Buren Road.
Taxes will remain flat for property-owners within the village of Baldwinsville, while residents living outside of the village will see a slight decrease in their tax levies, according to Town Comptroller Greg Maxwell.
The 2014 budget calls for expenditures of $4,753,947, as compared to this year’s budget which totaled $4,798,533.
Town Supervisor Claude Sykes attributed the $44.586 decrease in spending to the merger of the Baldwinsville and Lysander Fire Departments and to the belt-tightening efforts of town department heads.
“I have to give accolades to the department heads,” Sykes said. “Again this year, we asked them to keep their spending requests reasonable, and they have done so, helping to create this budget and contribute to the steady tax rate.”
Maxwell pointed out that property tax rates in the town have gone down consistently since Sykes took office in 2008. “And we’re very happy about that,” Maxwell said, “very proud.”
For a home in the village of Baldwinsville assessed at $100,000, town taxes will remain the same as in 2013, at $162.36.
For a home in the town but outside the village assessed at $100,000, town taxes will be $2.12 lower than in 2013, at $438.68.
Maxwell explained the two different levies this way: “If you live in the village of Baldwinsville your taxes are based on the general whole-town fund. If you live outside the village of Baldwinsville, your taxes represent costs charged to the general whole-town fund, the general part-town fund, the highway part-town fund and special revenues districts in which you live.”
For the 2014 budget, 52 percent is wages and benefits, 33 percent is for consumables such as electricity, gasoline and repairs, 9 percent is capital costs such as equipment purchases, and the remaining 6 percent is debt.
The town supervisor and town board members will not receive raises this coming year, but contractual salary increases are 2.5 percent. The town has two collective bargaining agreements, one ending in 2014 and one ending in 2015.
The largest capital expenses for the town in 2014 will be road resurfacing, a four-year computer replacement, resurfacing the tennis courts and highway garage repairs, Maxwell said.
Some other expenses include street lighting costs, vehicle repairs, legal expenses and the funding of the Canton Woods Senior Center at a cost of $66,950. Councilor Mary Frances Sabin pointed out that the senior center usually receives $80,000 from the town. Sykes said the village government plans to cover the center’s balance with money it has left over in a special account.
Maxwell noted that retirement benefit costs, which have gone up substantially in recent years, are finally starting to level out and may start to decrease, which will help the town’s overall annual budget picture.