Town of Dunkirk residents may see a decrease in their tax rates for 2013, if the tentative budget presented to the town board Tuesday is passed.
Supervisor Richard Purol presented the tentative budget to the board at a workshop and special meeting to review the budget.
Although the town gave nearly all employees and board members a slight raise, and there were added costs for a second justice, new computers and a comprehensive plan, there was no overall increase in the general fund tax rate.
OBSERVER Photo by Nicole Gugino
Supervisor Richard Purol (left) presented the tentative 213 budget to the Dunkirk Town Board Tuesday. Also pictured is Town Clerk Jean Crane.
"There hasn't been an increase in taxes in the general fund since I became supervisor and even some time before that," Purol said about his eight years in office.
The tentative budget gave most employees a three percent raise and five percent raise for town board members and the highway superintendent. The budget also added $25,000 for a comprehensive plan and an added $25,000 for the new town hall.
Although the town did not have huge increases in retirement and health insurance for the general fund, the town will now have to account for approximately $22,000 in worker's compensation in the budget.
However, Purol estimated some revenue sources increasing from the previous year. This along with some revenue held over from the 2012 budget year allowed for no overall increase.
There was a slight tax rate increase in the highway budget of $0.50 per $1,000 assessed value. This increase was in part due to increases in retirement, health insurance, social security, worker's compensation and three percent raises for employees.
However, because of an increased assessment of $101,257,000 for the entire town and only $50,742 needed to be raised by taxes, the tax rate actually decreased $0.08 from 2012 to $0.50 per $1,000 assessed value.
Some of the special districts did increase some including both fire protection districts.
The East Town Fire Department asked for $66,823, making the tax rate for the district $2.01, a $0.04 increase per $1,000 assessed value. The West town also increased its district tax rate by $0.04 to $1.71 by asking for $129,175. Both districts were able to stay under a 2 percent increase.
The East Lake Road Sewer District will see a slight rise in the tax rate because the town wishes to raise $4,000 for an engineering study. At its previous board meeting the board discussed the possible benefits of going to a gravity fed sewer system in the district instead of the individual pumps it currently has.
""We talked about possibly going to a gravity fed system and we thought it would be in the town's best interest to look into it. We are not trying to increase the cost to residents to much but we want to have an engineer look into this because it will be in their best interest," Purol explained.
Town Clerk Jean Crane said according her calculations for the tax cap formula the town is under the cap. However, because the tax cap legislation is still relatively new and the state has not finalized the formula, the town will be taking the advice of its attorney and will hold a public hearing for a local law to override the tax cap for protection from penalties in the case of an error. The public hearing will be held Oct. 16 at 6:45 p.m. in the town hall, with the regular meeting to follow at 7 p.m.
In other business:
The board approved the purchase of a 2,500 pound roller for the highway department not to exceed $12,990. According to the board's procurement policy purchases under $3,000 do not need other quotes. Highway Superintendent Richard Butts said the roller is in great shape and can be used for shoulder work and road patching.