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Manlius Village Board: still too early to determine tax rate

— The biggest change overall is a 215 percent increase the village’s heat bill, which is the result of a faulty meter at the village center which hasn’t worked for the last three years, said Mayor Paul Whorrall.

“Our meter had been broken, so National Grid never came and checked it, and nobody ever told us it wasn’t working,” he said. “The meter never worked, so they never charged us. We’ve split up the [owed] payments to be paid out over the next couple of years.”

Loss of revenues

Perhaps the biggest issue for the village of Manlius this year is a dropoff in revenues, specifically through property taxes and the loss of county sales tax. The village received $40,600 in county sales tax revenues last year and nothing this year.

Tax exempt properties account for almost 21 percent of properties within the village limits. In 2013, the assessed total valuation of all of the properties within the village came out to $309 million. However, the assessed taxable value only totaled about $256 million – a $421,000 loss for the village based on its tax rate.

“The more properties we can get in here that aren’t tax exempt, it’s going to shift the burden off the backs of the residents and more into the businesses, which is where you want them,” said Village Clerk Martha Dygert.

Outsourcing services

A common theme throughout several of the village’s budget workshops was the need to start looking ahead at outsourcing for some of its services for the 2015-16 budget, and specifically, for the Manlius’ annual Fourth of July celebration. The village budgeted $1,500 more than last year to put on the event, totaling $24,000 in this year’s tentative budget.

“Spending $24,000 on the Fourth of July is a lot of money for the celebration, and most of the local businesses are closed, so it’s not like we’re bringing revenue in for them,” said Trustee Janice Abdo-Rott. “I think that quality of life is important, but let’s be real – quality of life on the Fourth of July is for everybody in the county, not just the village.”

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