For the second fiscal year in a row, Blasdell residents will see only a slight increase to their village taxes.
It was announced at last Wednesday’s (March 13) budget hearing that Blasdell’s tax rate for the 2013-14 fiscal year will be set at $19.00 per $1,000 of assessed property value, with the amount representing a 1 percent increase from the 2012-13 tax rate of $18.81 per $1,000. Total general fund expenditures stand at $2,174,181, representing a hike of $53,215 from 2012-13, although it was noted that over $40,000 of that increase is accounted for in uncontrolled rises, such as New York State Employee Retirement System costs ($21,780), Police Retirement System funds ($9,769) and health insurance rates ($9,000).
Budget planning for 2013-14, which began in November and December, was stated as having an original projected general fund appropriation of $2,321,765, which would have been a hike of $200,789 from 2012-13. However, conscious economic planning and fiscal efforts of village officials took place in the duration of time since and were noted as having helped shrink the expenditure hike.
Assessed property values as a whole shrunk in Blasdell over the last year, from $67,457,180 to $67,449,713. Revenues other than taxes were slated at $792,652 for 2013-14, while $100,000 in fund balance reserves were appropriated. It was noted that this budget layout marks the second straight year in which the tax rate increase was lower than 2 percent, with 2012-13 featuring a tax hike of 1.5 percent from the 2011-12 fiscal year.
Mayor Michael Petrie said village officials would likely have been able to present a flat budget from a tax increase standpoint if uncontrolled state cost rises did not emerge, with those hikes being an ongoing trend of the last decade or so in local municipalities. However, Petrie added that it is his expectation that village residents will view the presented 2013-14 budget as a fair one.
“We have our obligations paid and we’re doing a good job with the money we spend,” said the mayor, who stated that the collaboration between the board and department heads yielded productive fiscal results. “We get by, (garnering) more for less.”
Trustee Rob Hefner agreed that village officials have been proactive in presenting a budget that is stable.
“That’s two years in a row that we’ve kept the budget (tax and expenditure) increase low,” said Hefner.