By Matthew Saari

In an effort to keep the tax rate flat, the Whitehall Village Board has decided to dip into the fund balance for some of the new budget’s funding.

Mayor Phil Smith

The board met Tuesday night and debated for nearly 90 minutes different avenues which would allow them to pay the village’s bills but not increase the financial burden of the taxpayer.

The end result is a budget of $1,891,327.36 which they presented to the public.

“I don’t think we can cut anymore,” said trustee Teresa Austin.

This proposed budget represents an increase of nearly 13 percent over the current year, so to counteract this Mayor Phil Smith presented a binary choice to trustees – make more cuts or draw upon the fund balance.

“We need to either cut $197,000 out of the budget or we have to borrow it from the fund balance,” Smith said, adding that doing so would get the village to the state-imposed two percent tax cap; if officials wanted to keep the tax levy flat, they would need to borrow more – to the tune of $230,706.

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