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Porter tax rate stays within 2 percent

Sat, Nov 10th 2018 03:35 pm
Staff Reports
In the Town of Porter, taxes will also be going up - but they will remain within the 2 percent cap.
"We are borrowing some fund balance; there is some reserve capital. ... We're borrowing $80,000 of that. But we have to right the ship."
So summarized Town Supervisor Duffy Johnston in announcing plans for a tax increase in the town's $5,185,705 2019 budget. "We have decided to raise the property taxes up toward 2 percent. It is under the cap, but that will bring in just under $15,000" to the town, he said.
By the numbers, the town tax rate for 2019 will be set at $1.99 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. It marks an increase of less than 2 cents per $1,000 over last year's $1.9678 per $1,000 on the 2018 budget of $4.945 million.
Johnston explained that, last year, the town withheld salary increases for its employees and, as a result, this year's salaries for town employees across the board, minus the Town Board and supervisor, will rise 2 percent.
Other news from the budget sees a 2 percent funding increase for the Youngstown and Ransomville libraries and $5,500 approved for the Youngstown Volunteer Fire Co.
Still more budget news finds the Town Board will not renew its contracts for town engineer services or for its grant writer.
"It will be on a pay-as-need basis instead of a monthly contract," Johnston said. "The grant writer was $700, engineers were $750 a month; we'll work around that."
The town has awarded $10,000 to the Village of Youngstown toward purchase of a new senior van. Johnston said the town has been contributing $15,000 annually to the village toward the van's operating expenses, and he expected that total to drop with a new van purchase.
"Our board has done due diligence" on this, Johnston said. He pointed to the town offering to acquire a van for prices of $23,000 and $24,000 and said, "The village wouldn't accept that.
"They went to an RFP; they found one for $28,000."
Johnston said the town opted instead to assist a $10,142 funding campaign underway by St. John's Episcopal Church in Youngstown and "split the rest" with the village.
He said the town will also begin the process of paying down a $250,000 inter transfer loan on a pump station. "Our accountant has put forward an amortization policy together, roughly $20,000 per year. It will take 15 years to pay that off."
"When you loan yourself money, you still have to pay it off," he said. "Why it was never done before, I don't know."

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