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October 8, 2012

Town of Plattsburgh tentative budget under tax cap

Town of Plattsburgh tentative budget brings 1.2% tax-levy increase

PLATTSBURGH — The Town of Plattsburgh’s 2013 tentative budget carries a 1.2 percent increase in the tax levy.

The town would raise $3.085 million in taxes in 2013, up from $3.05 million in 2012. That easily meets the 2 percent property-tax-levy-increase standard established by New York state.

Town Supervisor Bernie Bassett credited the department heads and Budget Officer Diane Miller on developing a great starting point.

“Our town budget officer has done another outstanding job to develop a (tentative) town budget by working with our department heads to give us a document that starts below the cap,” he said.

They were able to stay under the cap despite retirement contributions increasing from $418,000 in 2012 to $531,000 in 2013. Those costs are projected to go up to $614,000 in 2014.

Bassett said the tentative budget represents what each department head sees as needed for the upcoming year, but is only a starting point toward a final spending plan. 

“We are in the process of scheduling meetings with our department heads to go over their budgets,” he said.

HIGHWAY LEVY

Bassett said the town continues to look at both short-term and long-term needs, such as infrastructure improvements that will allow the town to continue to grow.

“We generate a legitimate budget that reflects our needs and goals,” he said.

In the tentative budget, appropriations increase 4.28 percent, from $15.5 million to $16 million. The town can apply county sales-tax revenue and a $724,701 appropriated fund balance to eliminate the need for a general-fund tax levy, the supervisor said. 

Bassett said the town doesn’t maintain a built-in general fund balance from year to year. The money is the result of conservative budgeting and sales-tax revenue during the previous year.

Highway-fund appropriations increase from $2.4 million in 2012 to $2.58 million.

For the fourth year, the town will have a highway-fund tax levy. The levy is set to increase from $700,000 to $725,000, with a tax rate of 67 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. 

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