Woodstock budget proposal still under the cap

Bill McKenna

Woodstock Supervisor Bill McKenna presented a 2020 budget proposal with a 4.334 percent tax levy, but given other factors, the increase is still under the tax cap.

Spending for the General Fund, Highway Fund, lighting, water and sewer districts is $8,565,187 up $300,210.28, or 3.63 percent from the 2019 budget of $8,264,976.72.

The amount to be raised by taxes is $6,393,562, an increase of $265,608, or 4.334 percent.

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The tax levy is $18,368 below the cap of $6,411,930. 

The state tax cap is, generally, 2 percent per year or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. Other factors allow municipalities to spend more, including the ability to carry over the difference between the cap and actual levy from the prior year and a growth factor that changes every year.

Spending and levies for the fire and library districts are not included in the town budget as they are separate taxing entities.

Broken down by individual funds, the General Fund proposed spending is $5,533,951, up $211,452 or 3.97 percent from $5,322,499. The Highway Fund spending of $2,411,492 is down $67,862, or 2.74 percent from $2,479,354. Lighting districts remain the same at $21,400. On-site sewer is $56,773, up $4723 or 9.07 percent from $52,050. Hamlet sewer is $300,287, up $21,236 or 7.61 percent from $279,051. Water district spending is $241,284, up $18,458 or 8.28 percent from $222,826.

The tax levy for the on-site sewer district is $52,273, up $723 or 1.4 percent from $51,550. All other special district levies are flat.

Water rates remain the same at 42 cents per 100 gallons and sewer is unchanged at $1.03 per 100 gallons. The quarterly base rate for water and sewer is the same at $17.

Salaries up 2.25 percent

“I have increased the maintenance personnel line to allow for additional help for the general maintenance including the upkeep of the Comeau trails and the dog park,” McKenna said.

The Building Department personnel budget also increased to cover the second building inspector, Francis “Butch” Hoffman, who was hired to handle an increased workload, including that from the new short-term rental law.

Funding was also added for grant writing and an anticipated bond payment vote on the renovation of the town offices on Comeau Drive.

McKenna said the budget is on the more conservative side for revenue, given uncertainty about the economy and after discussions with other town supervisors in the area. Budgeted revenue for short-term rental fees is $1500. The amount collected to date is $1900.

Salaries across the board are up 2.25 percent, including elected officials which are as follows:

Highway Superintendent Mike Reynolds, $71,007.

Supervisor Bill McKenna, $57,925.

Town Clerk Jackie Earley, $52,579.

Town Council (Reggie Earls, Richard Heppner, Laura Ricci, Lorin Rose), $11,200 each.

The Town Board will be discussing the budget with department heads next week and will make changes as needed. Public hearings are set for the water and sewer district budgets October 15. Water district is at 7:30 p.m., followed by on-site sewer at 7:40 p.m. and hamlet sewer at 7:50 p.m.

The public hearing for the rest of the budget will be set at a later date.

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