The Clerk/Treasurer has filed the 2017-18 Tentative Budget. The proposed budget is compliant with NYS property Tax Cap Legislation and raises taxes by 2.5%. There is a Public Hearing scheduled for April 3, 2017 at 7PM.
Budget Highlights as follows.
Following is the Mayor's Budget Message:
The Tentative Budget for 2017-18 reflects a tax rate of $7.83 per thousand of assessed valuation. This is the first Village Budget to utilize the assessment roll since revaluation of property values performed by the Town of Greenburgh and explains the marked decrease in tax rates since last year. While the Village tax levy is increasing by 2.5%, the change in your actual tax bill may be significantly different due to revaluation. For comparison purposes, the increase in the tax rate that is attributable solely to the levy increase is $0.20 per thousand of assessed value. For a home valued at the median price of $633,900 in Irvington (latest census data), Village taxes would increase by $126.00. But, again, the actual change in your tax bill will probably be higher or lower than this amount due to the revaluation.
As a Board, we felt it was important to continue to adhere to the Property Tax Levy Cap, originally implemented by New York State six years ago. The Village has been below the Cap each year and this budget continues that record. This year, we are $39,836 below the Cap. Compliance with the Cap, among other things, will again qualify residents for a rebate under Property Tax Freeze Legislation. If you would like more information regarding the calculation, please refer to the work sheet that is included in this package.
In aggregate, expenditures are up $397,352 (2.35%). Of this, $190,745 is attributed to increased health insurance, $181,000 in NYS Retirement contributions, $25,000 for increased Volunteer Fire Department Service Awards benefits and $10,200 for operations. Other increases include $30,000 for increased costs for village-wide communication and data, $17,826 for Library books and electronic media, $19,000 for landscape and educational garden maintenance at the O’Hara Nature Center. There are also provisions for raises for Police and CSEA union contracts that are under negotiations and non-union employees yet to be determined.
Decreases in other costs helped to bring this budget within the tax cap. They included a decrease in Debt Service of $30,000 and an appropriation of surplus from completed Capital Projects of $100,000. There is also a decrease in Police Department salaries of $61,375 due to retirements. Other Departments have been striving to maintain level costs.
Budgeted revenues have increased $55,000. The most notable of the increases are in the Recreation Department, where departmental revenue is slated to rise by $35,000 to cover program costs, and by $10,000 in both Mortgage Tax and Sales Tax, both slowly recovering since the Great Recession. The Village will continue to appropriate a modest amount from Fund Balance ($175,000), keeping the Village in a strong financial position.
In our Water Department, the wholesale cost of water is expected to rise in July 2017. However, with greater efficiencies in water delivery producing less unmetered water usage and more accurate meter readings, the rate for water and sewer charges will not increase for the first time in over a decade. The water fund continues to make great strides in reducing the long-standing deficit while providing quality water and service.
The budget process has focused on maintaining the current level of services to the public while investing in infrastructure, buildings and parks. It has been a particular challenge to comply with the historically low Tax Levy Cap while still budgeting for necessary costs. With the cooperation of our Department Heads, I feel that this Tentative Budget, once again, is fiscally responsible and sustainable on a long-term basis. I would like to thank Clerk/Treasurer Brenda Jeselnik for all of her help preparing this budget and monitoring fiscal operations day to day and to our Department Heads for their support and mindfulness in running their respective Departments.
A public budget hearing will be held Monday, April 3, 2017 at 7 p.m. in Village Hall. Residents are encouraged to attend. Comments may also be submitted by letter addressed to Lawrence Schopfer, Village Administrator, 85 Main Street, Irvington, NY or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.