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Thursday, December 18, 2014
Canajoharie, NY ,
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Village budgets carry small tax increases

Thursday, May 29, 2014 - Updated: 9:57 AM

By JOSHUA THOMAS

C-S-E Editor

Local villages have adopted their annual budgets, all with nominal tax increases. In Fort Plain, taxes will raise fifteen cents per thousand dollars of assessed property valuation -- a figure well below the tax cap limit.

Mayor Guy Barton stated, "the budget was very difficult this year because of the devastating flood we had last year. It was very hard for myself, the board and the clerks to come up with a budget that would take care of the peoples' services they had in the past, plus take care of the additional work we had because of the flood."

Barton said the raise is low compared to previous years, stating that there were various entities that assisted the village in keeping the figure down.

Barton said, "We cut back on stuff and had some extra help through the state. The state has done some work for us. If we had to do the work in Otsquago Creek ourselves, we wouldn't be talking about a budget today. We'd be talking about the foreclosure of Fort Plain."

While taxes rise in villages, generally speaking, because of increasing health insurance and retirement costs, employee pay increases (Fort Plain gave a 2-3 percent raise to employees), the village of Fort Plain also had to set aside additional funds this year ($30,000) for potential interest payments that may be incurred if the village has to borrow money for work that FEMA will later repay.

The raise given to Fort Plain employees this year, said Barton, was not only because of the extensive work they put in after the flood, but with the future in mind. Of the village's employees, he stated, "They worked very hard. They pitched in and did extra things they wouldn't have done otherwise, and they continue to."

The village will also take a significant hit (upwards of $10,000 in lost tax revenue) because of a ten percent tax relief act they recently approved, wherein tax breaks will be provided to flood affected landowners. The town of Minden and Fort Plain Central School District have also approved the tax cuts.

Fort Plain's water budget figured at $560,499.92, with the sewer budget coming in at $125,117.

The village of Canajoharie approved a general budget of $1,810,824, a water fund budget of $684,566, and a sewer budget of $885,422, with taxes rising 43 cents per thousand dollars of assessed valuation, for an overall total of $17.47 per $1,000.

While the water fund dropped significantly, the sewer fund raised about $24,000 and the general fund figure is about $26,000 above last year's.

The village of St. Johnsville approved a general fund budget of $1,221,475, a water fund budget of $270,688, and a sewer budget of $293,162. Taxes were increased by 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, for an overall total tax rate of $43.35 per $1,000.

The village will use $97,742.70 in fund balance, as they're bringing in $196,100 in water revenue (making it necessary to utilize $74,588 of fund balance money), and $268,500 for the sewer fund (making it necessary to use $24,662 of the fund balance).

Both the Canajoharie village and St. Johnsville village budgets also remained below the allotted tax cap figure.

     

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