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The Times
  • St. Johnsville village budget includes zero percent tax increase

  • The village of St. Johnsville’s proposed 2013 – 2014 budget does not include a tax increase for residents, Mayor Bernard Barnes said Tuesday evening.

    In order to keep the property tax rate the same, and to offset a $36,619 increase in general fund expenditures, village Clerk and Treasurer Karen Crouse said the village would use $86,836.67 in unappropriated fund balance to balance the budget.

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  • The village of St. Johnsville’s proposed 2013 – 2014 budget does not include a tax increase for residents, Mayor Bernard Barnes said Tuesday evening.
    In order to keep the property tax rate the same, and to offset a $36,619 increase in general fund expenditures, village Clerk and Treasurer Karen Crouse said the village would use $86,836.67 in unappropriated fund balance to balance the budget.
    “The budget does not increase property taxes for residents and more importantly it does not cut services that our residents have come to rely on,” said Barnes.
    Crouse said the proposed $1,183,020 general fund budget includes the loss of $7,687.29 in revenue due to a $179,400 loss in property assessments, and a $10,226 increase in state retirement system contributions. The contributions, she said, include a $5,506 increase for the village police department and a $4,720 increase for other local departments.
    Crouse also said the budget proposal includes an increase of $2,700 in liability insurance for the village and the volunteer fire department, and a $10,292 increase in health insurance. New hires, she said, contributed to the health insurance increase.
    Under the proposed budget, village property owners will continue to pay $42.85 per thousand of assessed valuation. The total tax levy is $645,885.33.
    “We did what we could to keep the budget as low as possible,” said Barnes. “There is some cost-cutting across all departments to hold the line on spending, but there are also some line items inside the budget that were increased in order to meet needs.”
    The mayor added he is proud of the budget proposal. “The village is in a good financial position and it’s great that our taxpayers won’t see an annual tax increase,” he said.
    Crouse agreed with Barnes. “Nobody on the board likes to raise taxes, because we’re taxpayers too. Overall, it’s a good budget that maintains our departments,” she said.
    The village’s 2012 – 2013 budget raised property taxes by less than one percent.
    The board is expected to further discuss the proposed 2013 – 2014 budget when they meet for their annual organizational meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 1. The meeting will take place at the Community House at 16 Washington St.
    In other business Tuesday evening, the board reviewed the results of the March 19 election which saw incumbent Trustees James Castrucci, 21 votes, and Martin Callahan, 24 votes, re-elected to the village board and Michael Battisti elected to a four-year term as village justice with 24 votes.
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