POTSDAM — Village Board members Monday night passed their $10,880,922 budget for 2020-21 with a zero percent tax increase to residents.
The budget, which is a $156,452, or 1.5 percent, increase from 2019-20’s $10,724,470 budget, has only what Village Clerk and Treasurer Lori S. Queor said were just a few tweaks pertaining to things like movement of equipment between departments, contractual raises and increases in health insurance.
“We had an increase in assessments, so the assessments went up. This year, the amount to be raised by taxes was $3,958,296. Last year the amount to be raised by taxes was $3,926,752,” Mrs. Queor said. “The $31,544 increase in assessments will not equate to an increase in taxes.
“When we started this budget we thought we would have a little bit more sales tax than the year before that was budgeted, so we put sales tax up a bit,” she said. “We were doing pretty good on some of the interest rates on our savings, so some of that was doing a little bit better, so we upped that a little bit.”
She said assessments being a little bit higher also helped.
“So we were trying to offset some of those paid rate increases, which are union negotiated with the Teamsters and CSEA and of course health insurance going up. Health insurance always seems to go up every year,” she said. “You know, we were just trying to balance all of that as best we could.”
A breakdown of the budget is as follows:
The total appropriations of $7,586,203 in the 2020-21 budget will be covered by $4,170,946 in fees and taxes, $3,408,932 in non-property taxes and $6,325 from the existing fund balance.
Total general fund appropriations are $6,436,859, an increase of $122,294 from the 2020 general fund appropriations of $6,314,565, or approximately 2 percent.
Under the 2020-21 budget, the $18.28746 tax rate per $1,000 will see a zero percent increase from the 2019-20 tax rate of $18.28753 per $1,000.
Included along the general fund line is $3,958,296 in property taxes, a 0.8 percent increase from the 2020 levy of $3,926,752, and $2,478,563 in non-property tax estimated revenues.
The $234,325 trash budget calls for $234,325 in appropriations to be covered by $212,650 in user fees, $15,350 in non-property tax revenues and $6,325 from the fund balance.
The user fee for the trash budget will also see a zero percent increase at $13.66294 per $1,000 in 2020-21 compared to 2019-20’s $13.66249 per $1,000.
“I think it’s a very good budget. I would have to say we have some of the best department heads of any municipality,” Mrs. Quoer said. “They really do the legwork to know what they need and how much it is going to cost. They make my job pulling all of this together a heck of a lot easier by doing what they do.”
The village trustees also passed a local law approving a 2 percent tax cap override, however, Mayor Reinhold J. Tischler said it was just a fail safe.
Mrs. Quoer confirmed the mayor’s assessment and said the budget was thoroughly vetted and that “the problem is if there is any kind of typographical error in the spread sheet of the budget, if there is a mistake, this is kind of to save ourselves just in case there is an issue.”