Potsdam budget proposal would raise tax levy by 2 percent, cut rate by 7 cents and stay below tax cap
BY ADAM ATKINSON
North Country This Week
POTSDAM — The $6.49 million general fund in the Potsdam proposed village budget for 2021-22 will offer a 7-cent decrease in individual taxpayer rates, even though total spending will be up slightly along with overall tax levy, which will increase more than $92,000.
Total general fund appropriations for the coming year are expected to be $6,497,831 in 2021-22 from $6,436,859 in 2020-21.Total revenues for the coming fiscal year in the general fund will increase 0.9 percent over the current fiscal year, up $60,872 to cover the $6,497,831 in appropriations.
The total property tax levy for the general fund is expected to increase 2.3 percent, or $92,421 to a total draw of $4,050,717 in the coming fiscal year compared to the $3,958,296 in the current year.
However, taxes for individual homeowners are expected to see a slight percentage decrease of 0.38 percent to $18.21867 per $1,000 of assessed property value in 2021-2022 compared to the 2020-2021 rate of $18.28746.
The village board presented the tentative budget at their meeting Monday, April 5 following a public hearing on the plan. No public comments were leveled about the budget during the hearing.
The plan calls for a $9,500 per year salary for the mayor and $5,500 for each trustee, which remains unchanged from the current year.
Department employee salary allocations feature slight increases in the coming year, with most falling in a 1.5-2.5 percent increase. The most notable salary increase is a 7.4 percent increase in the full-time salary line item for the police department, amounting to a $78,253 increase in 2021-22 for a total salary allocation for the department of $1,128,935 compared to $1,050,682 in 2020-21.
“Again, thanks to all the department heads for an outstanding job controlling their budgets, and we look forward to a better year in 2021 than we had 2020,” said Village Mayor Ron Tischler, at the April 5 meeting.
The village’s fiscal year begins June 1, 2021.
The 2021-22 budget features no increases in taxes for the village’s hydroelectric, recreation or trash budgets, each which are set up as separate fiscal plans from the general fund.
The board also held a public hearing April 5 for taking comments on a resolution to override the tax cap if needed to balance the budget. Such resolutions are common when municipalities approve budgets to allow towns and villages some flexibility when hashing out the numbers. Tischler pointed out at the hearing that the measure was “precautionary” to balance the final budget.
“Correct. We are under the tax cap by $170,000 this year,” said village Clerk Lori Queor. She said once the budget is submitted to the public its better to have the override in place in case changes need to be made. “It’s just to cover the bases.”
Village residents can view a copy of the budget on the village website at file:///Users/Nctw5/Downloads/882-2.pdf or obtain copies at the clerk's office. The village is still accepting public comments on the 2021-22 budget before final approval. Those can be submitted to the village clerk as well either by email at [email protected] or by mail at P.O. Box 5168, Potsdam, NY 13676.