Port Byron Village Board

Village of Port Byron officials field questions from a resident during a public hearing on the 2018-2019 fiscal year budget as part of a regular meeting on Monday.

PORT BYRON — Following a public hearing, the village of Port Byron unanimously voted to approve the proposed budget of $803,571 for the June 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019 fiscal year during a regular meeting on Monday.

The proposed budget's total appropriations are $34,341 higher than last year's budget of $769,230. The amount of the budget to be raised by taxes for 2018-2019 is $313,266, up from last year's tax levy of $300,766, with a plan to override the state-imposed tax cap. The salary for Mayor Ronald Wilson, $5,000, and the salaries for each of the four trustees, $2,000, remains unchanged.

In response to a resident's question of if his taxes were going to increase or not, Wilson said "possibly."

"The tax levy, which is the term for the amount being collected by taxes is ... going up not quite $13,000," Wilson said. He added that the main reason for that increase was a last minute addition to the budget, due to "another one of the State's unfunded mandates," which says the village needs to provide "disability insurance ... for individuals that are in the volunteer fire departments, for cancer."

"I took the high end, and that was $7,500," Wilson said. He later explained that it was estimated to be about $200 to $300 per firefighter, and he opted for the $300 option for each of the 25 active firemen. 

"If everything is accepted the way it is proposed here, (the tax rate) will go from $8.418 to $8.7387," Wilson said, and added that an individual's property assessment on their home or parcel will also affect how much they pay in taxes. Wilson shared that his home, assessed at $132,800, was going to go up about $42 total this year with the new tax rate.

Most homes in the village, however, have assessments in the $70,000 to $80,000 range, Wilson said. If $75,000 is an average assessment in the village, Wilson said the taxes for an average property owner would go up to about $655 in taxes for the year from $631 in taxes for the year, so a total increase of about $24.

A resident asked the board of trustees what they each thought of the budget, and all four voiced support for the proposed budget.

"I think we're in pretty good shape, we've had some increases, but there are a lot of bigger increases in other (municipalities)," Trustee Patrick Fenton said.

After the public hearing was open for about 30 minutes, fielding a few additional questions, the board left it open as they continued the regular meeting. The public hearing was closed, just short of being open for an hour, when no additional questions.

At that time, the board unanimously voted to adopt the proposed 2018-19 budget without any changes.

"What that does in terms of the budget, the appropriations are $803,571. The revenue, without the tax levy, is $356,471 and the tax levy is $313,266 for a total of $669,737, when you subtract those, the fund balances the village has to apply to the budget to maintain that tax rate is $133,834, which is approximately ... $10,000 more than last year," Wilson said. "Overall, I think the village can sustain this year without any trouble."

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Staff writer Megan Ehrhart can be reached at (315) 282-2244 or megan.ehrhart@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter @MeganEhrhart.