Tupper Lake village will cut taxes, spending

TUPPER LAKE – The village would reduce its tax levy and spending in a proposed budget offered up to the village board last week.

Village Clerk Mary Casagrain compiled the budget in recent weeks and presented it to the board at a special meeting Friday morning.

The property tax levy increase would stay $8,800 below the state cap. Last year, the board exceeded the tax cap by about 5.5 percent. That number is taken out of the village’s allowable tax cap for this year, so boards aren’t able to essentially inflate their cap in future years by exceeding it.

The budget includes a 1.41 percent reduction in the total tax levy, dropping it to about $1.79 million.

It calls for a decrease in the tax rate of 0.009 percent, accounting for a 12-cent decrease per $1,000 in assessed property value.

Casagrain said several things contributed to the decreases.

The way the calendar worked out last year, there were 53 weeks of payroll, which hiked up costs temporarily. This year, there are a typical 52 weeks, dropping expenses, Casagrain said.

There were also a few employees who bought out of the village’s health insurance plan, getting on their spouses’ plans, Casagrain said.

She said the current year’s budget also included a few one-time costs that don’t need to be in next year’s, like a feasibility study the village paid for last year on the possibility of building a new fire station.

“It’s a no-frills budget,” Casagrain said. “The board asked us to present a no-frills budget, and that’s what they got.”

Trustee Rick Donah said the board had asked Casagrain and the village’s department heads to make sure the budget was under the tax cap.

Mayor Paul Maroun told his board members to look through the budget, make notes and come back with comments and questions.

The board set a public hearing on the budget for 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 8, with workshops on the village Public Works and Police departments afterward.

They also set a workshop for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 16 for fire, police, electric, water and sewer in which they plan to spend at least part of the time meeting with members of the town board. The town and village have been in the process of negotiating the town’s contract for fire protection with the village.

Contact Jessica Collier at 891-2600 ext. 26 or jcollier@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.