VOORHEESVILLE No residents on Monday, April 7, spoke during a low-key public hearing on Voorheesville's proposed budget. Local officials, while not advertising the move, are looking to exceed the tax cap.
Back in late January, the board held a rather quiet public hearing before its regular meeting on a local law to exceed its state-imposed property tax levy cap. The board has previously taken the same measure, which is required if it opts to exceed the tax cap, but stayed within its allowable limit.
This year’s nearly $2.049 million turned out a little differently.
Village Mayor Robert Conway at the public hearing told Spotlight News the board had “no intention” of exceeding its allowable limit, with similar comments reflected in the minutes of the public hearing. Conway pitted the move as “precautionary.” A look at the final proposed budget revealed property taxes are increasing 4.5 percent, which is above its limit.
Conway on Friday, April 18, said he was not surprised the village is looking to exceed its tax cap.
“Anyone that has been dealing with municipal budgets over the last few years realizes it has been putting a squeeze on the municipalities,” Conway said. “Obviously, some people will not be happy about it, but I think for the most part, people see the value they are getting for their tax dollars in the village.”
Total appropriations are actually decreasing around $74,000, which represents a decrease of about 3.5 percent. The village did recently dissolve its court, which partially accounts for the decrease.
Conway said the increasing cost for electricity in next year’s budget exceeds what it could raise in taxes. Dissolving the court also lowered its levy limit.
Elected officials and village employees are budgeted to receive a 2 percent salary increase. A 2 percent increase was also given in the current budget excluding the mayor.
The Village Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on the 2014-15 budget tonight.
Check back to SpotlightNews.com for updates on the budget vote.