Budget to rise by 1.5%

A decrease in expenditures and a mild winter will enable the village to comply with the 2 percent tax cap.

The village finalized the 2012-13 budget last week and will present it to the public next week. And although the budget calls for an increase in taxes, it is below the 2 percent mandated by the state.

The village’s tax levy, the amount of money it collects through taxes, is expected to increase by 1.5 percent in the 2012-13 budget, well below last year’s increase of 4.4 percent.

The tax rate will increase from $17.67 per $1,000 of assessed property value to $17.87 per $1,000 of assessed property value. That means a property owner whose home is assessed at $100,000 can expect to pay about $18 more in taxes.

The village will have to pay about $38,000 more in employee pension contributions but the increase comes after a warm winter during which costs from materials and overtime labor were down.

This year’s expenditures come to $430,610.71, a decrease of $183,860.75 from last year when expenditures were $614,471.46

Mayor Peter Telisky said every department came in at or under budget this year.

The village also earned additional revenue this year by selling thousands of dollars worth of scrap water pipe and allowing timber to be harvested from village land.

“If not for the forestry and scrap projects, it could have been worse,” said Trustee Walter Sandford.

Telisky said the sale of scrap pipe enabled the Department of Public Works to purchase some needed equipment and complete some projects without having to cut into the village budget.

The village also benefited from reasonably stable health insurance costs, a bump in assessments, and a purchasing policy that was instituted under a previous administration.

This year’s total assessment was $88,838,588, while last year’s was $88,228,116, an increase of $610,472.

While village residents won’t see a large increase in their taxes, they can expect to pay more for their water.

The village has proposed a tentative increase of more than 10 percent on water rates. The increase is necessary because a number of water users outside of the village have not paid their water bills over the years.

Telisky estimates the village may have lost between $50,000 and $100,000 in revenue over the past several years from the unpaid water bills. He said in the village if you don’t pay your water bill, it’s reassessed into property taxes, but that’s not the case outside the village.

The new rate would be reflected with the August billing cycle, but officials are optimistic that the increase could be less than 10 percent if they are able to recover some of the funds. While the problem has been slowly accumulating, village officials only recently noticed the size of the problem, Sewer rates, which generally correlate with water rates even though they are separate on the budget, will not increase.

Overall the budget calls for $1,842,033 in appropriations, up from $1,806,794

(an increase of $35,238.59) last year; $173,878 in nontax revenues (an increase of $929), and $80,000 from the appropriated fund balance, an increase of $15,000 from last year.

Telisky said the village still has approximately $40,000 to $60,000 in contingency funds that are used to absorb unexpected expenses. He said that using any more money from those funds could leave the village vulnerable to unforeseen expenses in the future.

A public hearing on the 2012-13 budget will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 2. If the budget does not receive any opposition from the public, the village is likely to approve it later that evening. An organizational and regular meeting will also be held on April 2.

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