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Porter Town Board reviewing 2021 budget plan

Fri, Oct 23rd 2020 09:25 am

Slight increase in property tax rate eyed

Staff Reports

The Town of Porter continues to proceed – albeit slowly – toward development of its budget plan for 2021.

The Town Board, at its Oct. 13 regular meeting, announced it will hold a public hearing on the 2021 preliminary budget at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, at Town Hall. Members have been reviewing the budget numbers over past weeks. At this point, the budget remains incomplete.

Discussions heard earlier indicated the town has been contending with a number of factors, all of which have contributed to the challenges found on this year’s plan. Included are significantly lower sales taxes from past years due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic; new financial hardships due to reduced state assistance – again reflective of the coronavirus’ impact; budget considerations found in Highway Department equipment spending and staffing needs, town employee health care and retirement costs; a continuing drop in revenue from the CWM gross receipts tax account; and ongoing town spending needs.

Preliminary budget numbers show $5,503,691 in planned appropriations for the 2021 plan. This reflects an increase of $261,992 in appropriations from the adopted 2020 budget.

Included are: general fund A – $1,162,861.58; general fund B – $1,429,111; highway DA townwide – $1,683; highway DB outside village – $1,085,780; Water Department – $404,740; Sewer Department – $494,016; Ransomville light – $11,500; garbage refuse – $400,000; Ransomville Fire – $261,000; Youngstown Fire, $188,232; lakeshore sewer improvement area, phases I, II and III – $52,175; Mallory/Groveland Road project – $467.42; and Harrison Lane road project – $12,125.

Tax impact projections to town property owners from general fund A reveal $819,436 to be raised from property taxes. This comes from a $290,575 reduction in estimated revenues and $52,850.58 in unexpended fund balance. The proposed tax rate under the 2021 plan amounts to $2.0587 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. By comparison, those same numbers in the 2020 plan show $795,915 to be raised by taxes and a tax rate of $2.0183 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

Special districts taxes and their respective amounts to be raised by taxes (identical numbers) include: Ransomville light, $11,500; Ransomville Fire, $261,000; Youngstown Fire, $188,232; and lakeshore sewer, $52,175.

Finally, proposed salaries for town officials under the 2021 plan include: town supervisor – $35,067; town justices (two) – $18,571.14; town clerk – $58,716; superintendent of highways – $75,264; and town tax collector – $6,554.

At this writing, town officials continue to work on crunching the budget numbers en route to the planned Nov. 5 public hearing.

“It’s still tentative at this point,” said Kim Boyer, town bookkeeper.

The budget faces adoption by the Town Board for submission to the state by Nov. 20. Further information is available by calling Town Hall at 716-745-3730.

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