Early budget projections call for higher tax rate for Potsdam town residents
BY ADAM ATKINSON
North Country This Week
POTSDAM — The town board has begun holding work sessions to hone down its tentative budget numbers for 2023. The early projections for the general fund are calling for a greater tax levy and a higher tax rate for town residents.
The board met Tuesday, Sept. 20 for a budget workshop to work on the numbers. Another budget work session is planned for Sept. 27 at 6:30 p.m.A tentative 2023 budget released earlier this week outlines a $1,770,886.28 general fund budget. That’s a jump from the current year’s general fund appropriations of $1,495,339.86.
Those numbers, which will be subject to change before being finalized later this fall, are calling for a tax levy of $1,160,616.28, up from the current year’s levy of $886,833.86 for the general fund.
The tax rate in the tentative general fund budget would increase to $1.988 per $1,000 of assessed property value, up from the current year’s general fund rate of $1.45.
The general fund features higher costs for employee hospital insurance, Postwood Park recreational and contractual line items, attorney appraisals and assessor’s clerk personnel costs.
The 2023 tentative town outside budget, which is separate from the general fund, features total appropriations of $204,461.93 up from $196,072 in the current year.
The town is expecting total non-tax revenues from things like building inspector fees and sales tax to cover the appropriations in total, with no taxation required to cover the budget.
The town’s special district budgets proposed for 2023 feature some small increases.
Total to be spent on fire contracts currently stands at $353,671 in 2023, up from the current year’s $335,019. That includes increases for the West Potsdam and Norwood fire departments.
The appropriations would be covered completely by a tax levy under the tentative budget. The tax rate in 2023 would go up to $1.102 per $1,000 of assessed value. The current year’s fire contract tax rate is $1.05.
The tentative 2023 lighting district budget will go up to $3,390 from $3,250 in the current year. Residents of the districts will see a slight increase in their tax rates. Hewittville district tax rate would be $0.636 per $1,000, up from $0.626 in the current year. Sissonville district would go up to $0.595 from $0.584.
The town’s two highway budgets, Highway DA and Highway DB, could feature slight increases in spending in 2023 over the current year if the tentative budget moves forward.
The Highway DA budget in 2023 is calling for $1,012,471 over the current year’s $1,019,302. The amount to be raised by taxes to cover the tentative amount is $1,012,471, which is slightly higher than the taxes for the current year of $1,012,302. The tax rate, however, would actually go down for this budget to $1.735 in 2023. The current rate is $1.74 per $1,000 of assessed value.
The 2023 tentative Highway DB budget calls for $1,278,674.79 in appropriations, up from $1,210,425.78 in the current year. Taxes would be zero however, just as in the current year, with the budget largely covered by county sales tax revenues and state CHIPS money.
Water and sewer districts
Residents of the town’s water and sewer districts will see a slight drop in their taxes.
Total appropriations for the tentative 2023 budget for the sewer district are $32,402.06, an increase over the current year at $32,148.80. The tax levy would drop to $20,882.06 from the current year’s levy of $21,258.80.
The sewer district tax rate would drop to $7.67 per $1,000 of assessed property value from $7.77.
Water district residents would see total appropriations under the 2023 tentative budget jump to $24,500 from the current year’s $23,900 amount. Total tax levy in the 2023 tentative is $19,825, a drop from $20,525 in 2022.
The tax rate for the water district would be $7.09 per $1,000 of assessed value. This lower number compares to the current year’s rate of $7.30.
All of the tentative 2023 budgets are subject to change as the board gets down to brass tacks and zeros in on the bottom line.