The Town of Pomfret has proposed a tax increase of about 15 cents on every $1,000 assessed within the Village of Fredonia, and about 13 additional cents on every $1,000 for property owners outside the village.
At a public hearing Wednesday night, Supervisor Don Steger said the budget in its current form is preliminary, and asked residents present for comments and feedback.
Councilperson Pat Christina also asked for input, particularly from former councilperson Rod Pennica, who was present. Pennica said he hadn't been to the budget workshops, but stated, "I understand what it's like to have to come up with a budget. ... As a taxpayer, of course I don't want my taxes to go up, but as someone who has had to do it, I understand that sometimes you don't have a choice."
OBSERVER Photo by Shirley Pulawski
Councilperson David Penharlow, left, said the town did a good job managing expenses and budget cuts in the face of increased expenses in the fire district and workers’ compensation. Councilperson Pat Christina, center, and Supervisor Don Steger, right, asked residents present for input.
Councilperson David Penharlow said the board had about $100,000 in new expenses to manage in the new budget. "I think, considering how much we had to cover, we did a really good job at cutting expenses. We had a $45,000 increase in our fire district, and then we had workers' comp(ensation) go up by over $50,000. So we had to deal with about $100,000 in expenses and ... only increased the budget by about $52,000," he explained.
The total operating budget is just under $7.5 million.
More than $6 million is expected from revenues and an additional $340,000 will carry over from the unexpended fund balance.
The total amount to be raised by taxes in 2013 is $1,048,150, making the proposed rate $3.94 per $1,000 in the village and $5.43 per $1,000 outside the village.
The final budget will be presented next week at a regular meeting of the town council at 6:30 p.m. in the Town Hall, 9 Day St., Fredonia.