Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

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March 25, 2010

New village budget calls for 3 percent hike in tax rate

BY JIM AUSTIN

COOPERSTOWN CRIER



The village tax rate will rise by approximately 14 cents to $4.77, according to the tentative budget for the coming year. The increase is a little more than three percent.



The tax levy, or amount to be raised through property taxes, will increase by slightly more than $68,000 to a total of $1.75 million dollars. General fund spending is up by $150,000. General fund appropriations will total almost $3.25 million dollars. The general fund accounts for 58 percent of the total budget.



The top categories of general fund spending include: employee benefits, which account for 19.57 percent of spending, police at $383,000 make up 11.81 percent, and because of a planned purchase of a new $150,000 sweeper, street cleaning comes at 5.16 percent.



The total of all spending _ including the water, sewer, trolley and library funds will top $5.66 million dollars, an increase of approximately $337,000.



Village Treasurer Mary Ann Henderson estimates the village will have almost $725,000 in surplus funds at the end of the fiscal year on May 31. The board of trustees plans to apply $235,000 of the surplus against the tax levy. Without the application of the surplus funds, the tax rate would have climbed by approximately 64 cents.



Henderson said the surplus figure was generated on March 10 and will change when it is computed again in April.



Village spending is on track with the current year’s budget.



``We are three-fourths of the way through our year and 80 percent through the budget,’’ Henderson said.



Deputy Mayor Jeff Katz, who chairs the finance committee, said the board wanted as minimal a tax increase as possible for the tentative budget without dipping too deeply into the surplus. Katz believes they reached that goal with a three percent increase.



``I think the budget was good balance. I think we did a good job,’’ he said.



``We wanted to get out something that wasn’t too far from where we wanted to be.’’



Katz said that compared to some of the increases he has seen in other municipal and school district budgets, the village is in good shape.



``I think we are in good financial standing, but I’d like to see increased revenues,’’ he said.



The proposed budget is still subject to modification before it is adopted by the board of trustees in late April.

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