Residents of the Village of Farnham will not see an increase in their tax rate once again this year.
“There will be no increase in taxes this year,” said Mayor Julie Gibbons. “It has been about 10 years since we have seen any increases, though we will eventually have to raise taxes unless we secure a new revenue basis, and we have the potential to get that from the Dollar General in the future.”
“The reason that we have been able to the 2013-14 budget with no additional increase in taxes is because of the contract change and the savings we are receiving of approximately $4,000 from the new trash contract, which is a joint contract with the Town of Brant, which allowed us to maintain where we stand.”
Perhaps the biggest changes featured in the village’s latest budget are a pair of raises for village employees, a 4 percent raise for Village Clerk Jackie Hoisington, pushing her salary to a budgeted amount of $20,674 annually, and a 1.5 percent raise for Department of Public Works employee Ellsworth Nolan, pushing his budget salary to $35,249 annually. While Hoisington did not receive a raise last year, Nolan did.
“Last year Ellsworth was the only employee to get a raise while everyone else took cuts, the trustees took cuts in their contractual and Jackie took cuts in her stipend,” Gibbons said. “Ellsworth received a 1.5 percent raise for himself last year.”
Gibbons added that if the village board continues to agree to increases across the board, then there will certainly be consequences.
“At this rate, if we keep increasing, we’re going to have to raise taxes in the village, because we will no longer be able to stay under New York State’s 2 percent tax cap,” Gibbons said. “Taxes would probably have to go up with more increases, because honestly we’re just that close. For a one-square- mile village with an annual revenue of approximately $355,000, some of these increases are getting crazy.”
While Gibbons expressed excitement that this year’s budget was passed with no increases, she couldn’t be so sure of next year, as she sounded glib regarding what the future may hold for the Village of Farnham financially.
“Yes, I am happy with the budget as passed, and am very happy with the changes that were made. I’m also happy that we were able to maintain that line on the tax rate for one more year. You know, there’s no guarantee next year,” she said.
The final budget for the Fiscal Year 2013-14 is available at the Village Hall. In other news:
• The Farnham Volunteer Fire Department approved the application of Brett Klaczyk, a former member of the Farnham Explorers.
• A sum of $1,566 was approved for the purchase of a pair of Scott Air Packs for the fire department.