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Parishville budget exceeds state’s tax cap

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PARISHVILLE - The town of Parishville has adopted a $2.27 million budget that exceeds the state’s tax cap and increases the town’s tax rate by more than $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Town Supervisor Jerry G. Moore said the town had no choice but to exceed the cap.

“We used some reserve fund money to get down to around 4 percent,” he said. “We couldn’t get it down to 2 percent, but this is better than what the county’s going to do.”

Mr. Moore explained the town used roughly $125,000 in reserves, leaving them with approximately $800,000 left. He said it was his plan to continue using roughly $125,000 a year for the next three years to help balance their budget and keep their tax rate increases at around 3 percent.

He said last year the town’s $2,334,924 budget was under the tax cap, but their efforts to meet the cap came at a steep price.

“We cut pretty much everything we could,” he said, adding last year the town closed its library, eliminated its crossing guard and doubled its garbage collection fees.

“If we stayed under 2 percent for the next four year, we would be bankrupt and have to raise them by 10 or 12 percent.”

This year’s $2,276,064 budget isn’t without cuts either, as Mr. Moore said in an effort to save money the town is reducing its summer recreation program from six weeks to four. That cut, he said, should save the town between $10,000 and $12,000.

Other than a $300 increase in salary for the town clerk, Mr. Moore said none of the town’s other elected officials received raises. That raise will bring the clerk’s salary up to $25,093. Mr. Moore’s salary will remain $10,300, four council members will receive $2,678 each, two town justices will receive $8,240 each and the highway superintendent will receive $44,690.

While Mr. Moore said the town’s actual tax rate has yet to be calculated, using it’s taxable value of $11,693,390 to calculate the rate, taxpayers can expect a tax rate of $74.80 per $1,000 of assessed property value. That’s an increase of $2.68 per $1,000 of assessed property value over what taxpayers paid to support the general fund and highway budget this year.

The town has an equalization rate of 5.6 percent meaning a property that would be assessed at $100,000 at full value is assessed at $5,600. That property owner would see their town taxes climb by approximately $15 in 2013 from their January 2012 town portion of their tax bill.

That rate does not include charge backs from the county, which Mr. Moore said have yet to be calculated, but will be added into the tax bills before they’re sent.

While he doesn’t know how much money the county will be seeking from the town for charge backs, he’s expecting it to be more than they did last year.

“Our charge backs are going to be huge,” he said.

The town’s budget also includes $83,760 for a water district and $151,270 for a fire district. These items appear separately on tax bills and only for residents residing within those boundaries.

Mr. Moore also faulted the state’s tax cap and blamed the cap for this year’s 4 percent increase.

“If we didn’t work so hard to meet the cap last year, we would have been able to have a 3 percent increase again this year,” he said, adding that since he’s been supervisor he’s attempted to present budgets that consistently contain a small increase as part of his efforts to avoid ever having to significantly hike taxes.

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