The Clerk/Treasurer has filed the 2018-19 Tentative Budget. The proposed budget is compliant with NYS property Tax Cap Legislation and raises taxes by 1.76%. There is a Public Hearing scheduled for April 2, 2018 at 7PM.
Highlights in Mayor's message.
Following is the Mayor's Budget Message:
The Tentative Budget for 2018-19 reflects a tax rate of $7.95 per thousand of assessed valuation, an increase of $.32 per thousand, up 1.76% over last year. For an average property owner with an assessed valuation of $648,300 in Irvington (latest home census data) Village taxes will increase by approximately $207.
This is the second Village Budget since revaluation of property values performed by the Town of Greenburgh and the seventh year since the property tax levy cap legislation. While the tax freeze credit based on Village taxes ended in 2016, we have been committed to keeping all tax levy increases significantly under the limit including this one, which is $298,664 below the maximum amount of $857,534.
In aggregate, expenditures are up $804,320 (4.64%). Of this, $496,379 are attributable to fixed costs of contractual salary obligations (193,455), health insurance ($204,000) and debt service payments ($116,869). For the first time, we will see a slight decrease in retirement and service awards costs ($21,000). The balance of the increase of $307,941 is for departmental budget increases, many to keep pace with actual costs. They include increased police overtime ($50,000), snow removal overtime and road salt ($40,000), road paving ($30,000) and the Village Prosecutor ($24,000). Other increases include $49,200 for Recreation and Park programs, which is largely offset by program revenue, $12,100 for Theater staffing, and $43,071 for maintenance of the Burnham Building, which houses our Irvington Public Library. The remainder of the increase is for various items including security monitoring, police boat maintenance (inter-municipal agreement), police training and programs, and increased refuse costs.
Offsetting these increases are budgeted revenues, which have increased by $171,000. The most notable of the increases are Court revenues, which are increasing by $60,000 largely due to the result of increased traffic enforcement. The Village has experienced sustained grow in sales tax and mortgage tax, collectively and increased them by $77,000. Recreation fees are slated to rise by $29,000 to keep pace with program expenditures as previously noted.
The Village will increase the appropriation from Fund Balance by $74,540 to a total of $250,000. This will mitigate the rise in the tax levy while keeping the Village in a strong financial position. Additionally, the Fund Balance increased by over $500,000 last year as cost were maintained and revenue was even stronger than we budgeted so we felt it prudent to return some of that to residents.
In our Water Department, the wholesale cost of water, purchased from the City of New York, will rise in July 2018. The Village, after keeping water rates flat for the past two years, will increase the rate by 4.75% to keep pace with the costs of operation. The water fund continues to make great strides in reducing the long-standing deficit that has the potential of being eliminated in the next fiscal year. It has been a ten-year strategy to bring the fund from a deficit position 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, roads and parks. 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.
As a Board, my colleagues and I feel it is important to keep our tax rate as low as possible, especially in light of the decreased deductibility of state and local taxes and the burdens placed on some by the recent property revaluation.
A public budget hearing will be held Monday, April 2, 2018 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 Lschopfer@irvingtonny.gov.