The public hearing on the 2013 Herkimer County budget is set for Wednesday, Dec. 12. The total budget is anticipated to be about $96.44 million, with a 0.9 percent tax increase.
Legislator Patrick Russell, R - Old Forge, last month emphasized the reflection on residents’ taxes will fluctuate depending on each town’s assessed values. “Actual tax rates will increase or decrease by various degrees in each municipality depending on their equalization rate,” he said.
County Administrator James Wallace said equalization rates are calculated each year to reflect that year’s assessment roll and current market values for each assessing unit.
“The average tax rate would increase 0.9 percent under the tentative budget, but actual tax rates in each municipality will be determined by the change in the equalization rate,” he said.
The anticipated tax rate for the city of Little Falls was set at $27.54, up from $25.80.
Anticipated tax rates for the townships are Columbia, $5.95 from $5.66; Danube, $6.15 from $5.55; Fairfield, $6.74 from $6.63; Frankfort, $7.34 from $7.21; German Flatts, $7.20 from $7.06; Herkimer, $5.86 from $5.76; Litchfield, $5.92 from $5.63; Little Falls, $7.82 from $7.69; Manheim, $7.90 from $7.77; Newport, $5.08 from $5; Norway, $7.50 from $7.37; Ohio, $5.44 from $93.27; Russia, $5.48 from $5.39; Salisbury, $5.45 from $5.39; Schuyler, $6.13 from $6.06; Stark, $9.13 from $9.38; Warren, $7.92 from $7.79; Webb, $5.41 from $6.49; and Winfield, $5.93 from $5.64.
Russell said payroll, retirement and highway were drivers behind the increase. There are no raises for legislators, but non-bargaining and union employees will see a two percent increase, he added.
The county will use about $1.3 million from the general fund balance — with $9.6 million remaining — and $1 million from highway fund balance — with $2 million remaining — to keep taxes down.
About $25 million is expected to be raised through county property taxes, said Russell.
The Dec. 12 public hearing will begin at 7 p.m. in the legislature chambers of the county office building at 109 Mary St., Herkimer. This is a change from previous public hearings on the county’s tentative budget, which took place at Herkimer County Community College.