Despite what Schroon officials say were tough budget cuts, property taxes will rise next year. For the Schroon portion of taxes, the rate will increase from 3.26 cents per $1000 of assessed property value to $3.64, according to the Town’s Chris Stone.
That’s on top of the Essex County portion of taxes – still to be determined -- as well as the Schroon Lake Central School Tax. To calculate what portion of your property taxes go to the School District, enter your last name here.
“It was a tough year, no doubt about it.” Town Supervisor Mike Marnell told Schroon Laker today about the budget he and the council came up with in November.
Despite taxes increasing, the 2013 budget is $25,000 less than 2012.
Marnell said the increase came about because the town didn’t have a fund balance to use to keep the tax rate down. “Next year we will be in a lot better shape. Last year they (the former administration) used a lot of money -- $250,000 to keep under the standard two per cent, but we can’t do that again because there will be nothing there.
“By being conservative next year we will be able to stay under the two per cent, we will have some money. If we took $100,000 out of this year, we’d have nothing in the piggy bank in case of an emergency (so) you’d have to go to the bank and borrow it so we decided not to take any fund balance out of (the) general fund.
Is there money left in the general fund?
“Oh yeah. We had $150,000 starting at the year – that’s still there but we couldn’t take a $100,000 out of it and deplete it. So next year we should get it back up to $250,000 - $ 300,000 (and) stay under the 2 per cent tax cap”.
The proposed budget exceeds a New York State mandated 2 per cent property tax cap, but state law allows each municipality to bypass that if a majority of council members approve.
The town spent money on small increases for hourly town workers and an increase in health care insurance costs.
Marnell said Schroon saved money by cutting its grants by 20 per cent to The Schroon Lake Arts Council, The Schroon North Hudson Historical Society and the Chamber of Commerce. Three seasonal jobs at the Golf Course were also eliminated. Also getting the chop are the Labor Day Fireworks.
Were the right cuts made? tell us in comments.