Massena budget is under tax cap

The Massena Town Council was able to cut the town’s 2022 budget below the property tax cap and approved the spending plan this week. Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — The Massena Town Council was able to cut the town’s 2022 budget below the property tax cap and approved the spending plan.

Voting in favor of the budget were Councilors Susan Bellor and Albert N. Nicola, Deputy Town Supervisor Samuel D. Carbone Jr. and Town Supervisor Steven D. O’Shaughnessy. Councilor Thomas C. Miller abstained because he had been appointed the week prior and was not involved in the budget process.

Councilors had approved overriding the tax cap if necessary during a previous meeting. However, it wasn’t necessary, with the final budget coming in $89 under the cap.

At the start of weekly budget work sessions, the board was initially looking at a spending plan with an 83.2% tax increase, and that was pared down over the succeeding sessions. However, as late as last week, the board was looking at a budget that was $679 above the tax cap, and Mr. O’Shaughnessy asked counselors to look for more changes to bring the number down before this week’s vote. The budget needed to be passed by Saturday.

“We came a long way to get to this point, a lot of cuts had to be made and we want to thank the department heads for working so hard on this,” Mr. O’Shaughnessy said.

He commended Highway Superintendent Frank Diagostino for his efforts in paring the budget down. The Highway Department represents the biggest chunk of the budget.

Among the other towns that approved their budgets this week was the town of Brasher.

Town Supervisor Mark A. Peets said taxpayers will see a decrease in the tax rate in 2022, and the town’s budget stays under the 2% property tax cap.

“The tax rate will be $3.6448 per $1,000 assessed value for property owners in the town of Brasher,” he said.

He said that’s a decrease of $1.15 per $1,000 of assessed value over the 2021 budget.

The $2.4 million budget calls for $621,212 to be raised by taxes. That includes $202,305 in the general fund and $258,761 in the town highway fund.

Salaries under the 2022 budget are $16,405 for the supervisor; $5,000 per councilor; $36,500 for the town clerk; $12,000 each for two town justices; $56,500 for the highway superintendent; and $23.08 per hour for highway employees.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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