Press-Republican

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April 7, 2013

Tupper Lake budget under tax cap

TUPPER LAKE — The Village of Tupper Lake budget is projected to come in 1.4 percent below the state tax-cap allowance.

Village Clerk Mary Casagrain said the budget is still a work in progress, but the numbers show a decrease in the levy — which is the amount to be raised by taxes — to a proposed $1,788,535.

The total budget of $2,490,162 is down 2 percent from current-year spending.

Property revaluation last year also prompted a drop in the overall projected tax rate, down from the current $13.19 per $1,000 of property value to $13.07 per $1,000.

The public will have an opportunity to weigh in on the budget at a public hearing Monday.

STEADY BUDGETING

The budget benefits from removal of several one-time items paid out last year, Casagrain said.

“Last year, we had 53 pay weeks; this year is only 52. We had some one-time items, like new lighting in our public park for $60,000, so that cost won’t be in there. We had a few additional people who bought out their insurance policies because they had duplicate coverage with their spouse.

“We had appropriated a Fire Department feasibility study in last year’s budget, and that doesn’t carry over to this year.

“And, the Village Board asked each department head to come back with a bare-bones budget without increases.”

Village departments held spending steady.

CHIPS FUNDING

New revenue from the Department of Transportation’s Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program has yet to be factored in. CHIPS increases were approved by state lawmakers a few weeks ago.

“CHIPS funds adds $13,500 to Tupper Lake’s village budget,” Casagrain said. “It is a 21 percent increase — that’s a street — we could put a nice top coat on a small street. We’re pretty happy about that.”

PENSION EXPENSES

State pension costs, however, are going up 14 percent.

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