Press-Republican

June 9, 2013

Lake Placid tentative budget is below tax cap

By KIM SMITH DEDAM
Press-Republican

---- — LAKE PLACID — The proposed Village of Lake Placid budget includes a 2.39 percent tax-levy increase.

The total $3,524,595 tax levy is below the allowed state cap by $10.

Village Treasurer Peggy Mousaw said the total general-fund budget of $5,764,139 is up 5.7 percent from current-year spending.

The estimated tax rate in the tentative budget is $5.96 per $1,000 of real property value, according to the budget worksheet.

The tax rate is up about 21 cents from the current $5.74 per $1,000. 

A public hearing on the spending plan is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday in the North Elba Town Hall.

PROPERTY VALUES

A portion of the rate increase is due to a decline in property valuation, according to Mayor Craig Randall.

The tentative budget worksheet — available on the village website — shows that the taxable assessed valuation of all property in Lake Placid has declined $7,826,826 from last year to just under $592 million.

The actual total real property valuation in Lake Placid last year was nearly $600 million.

Randall has monitored this decrease with each budget since 2009, just after the housing-market crash.

“As in the last four years, the assessment rolls for the Village of Lake Placid continues to show decline, which this year are just under $8 million. That alone adds 7 cents to the tax rate,” he said Friday.

“Even though we had some new growth in the village, as properties are selling, what we’re seeing is that the prices — when they are recorded — are lower than what the assessments would have been eight or 10 years ago. I think that’s a saga that’s going to play out for another year or two.”

OTHER REVENUE

The budget looks to build other revenue sources besides property taxes, Randall said.

“We added $20,000 to the mortgage tax (revenue). It’s just a small increase, but that will come from money collected from the county.”

Parking-meter revenue is still growing a little bit, he said.

“The board is actually looking at the meter revenue to see if they can do more with it,” Randall said of possible future steps.

It is difficult, the mayor said, to prepare a budget with continued property-valuation loss.

“But I feel really good (about) what we’ve been able to do for the past five years. We’ve been able to keep things relatively stable.”

The Lake Placid Village Board will discuss the spending plan at the regular June 24 meeting set for 5:30 p.m. at the North Elba Town Hall. 

It has to be adopted by July 1.

Email Kim Smith Dedam: kdedam@pressrepublican.com