MASSENA - Heading into next weeks public hearing, taxpayers in the town of Massena are looking at a tax rate decrease.
That decrease for town taxpayers living inside the village limits will equal 5 percent or 22 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, givem them a tax rate of $4.23 per $1,000 of assessed property value.
For taxpayers residing outside the village, the decrease will be even greater, 75 cents $1,000 of assessed property value or 14 percent, given them a tax rate of $4.60 per $1,000 of assessed property value.
And while the projected tax rates remained the same, as originally presented, the board did vote to accept a few modifications to their $7.7 million spending plan.
Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray had originally proposed a $1,000 salary increase for each of the for town board members, but Councilman Albert N. Nicola called the raises unnecessary. Councilman John F. Macaulay said that he didnt feel like town board members should get a raise unless the town supervisor did too.
With salaries for councilmen remaining $5,000 each, that decreased the towns budget by $4,000.
Town Clerk Georgette Davis was originally scheduled to receive a 6 percent raise, however that raise was decreased to 2 percent, a figure in-line with the towns other non-union employees. Her salary will still increase from $40,141.27 to $40,944. Had the original 6 percent increase remained her salary would have jumped to $42,549.74.
However, Ms. Davis salary for duties as registrar was increased from the originally proposed amount of $7,450.26 to $8,000. Last year she received a salary of $5,834.81 for those duties.
The registrar brings in a lot more money than she is paid, so there isnt an impact to the taxpayers there, Mr. Gray said
Bookkeeper Nancy Fregoe said the changes will not have an impact on the towns projected tax rates.
I dont see it doing anything, she said.
When asked if he was pleased that the town board accepted his proposal, pretty much as is, Mr. Gray replied, Im glad they liked it.
He also noted that coming off of a tough budget year, last year where tax rates increased more than 20 percent, it was nice to have an easy budget year.
This budget will allow us to simultaneously cut taxes and restore some of our reserve funds, which had been depleted over the past several years.
And while several outside agencies had come to the town board seeking additional funding, board members elected to keep the supervisors budget as is, at least heading into next weeks public hearing.
Mr. Gray noted the towns contract with the village for fire service may change between now and when the budget is adopted, but he said hes not expecting that change to have much of an impact either.
The only outstanding thing at this point is our fire contract with the village, he said. So there may be some changes, but I dont think its going to be anything drastic.
The town will hold its annual budget hearing at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.