GLENVILLE — The town faces revenue constraints and uncertainty as preparation of the 2020 town budget starts, Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle said.
There’s uncertainty about state aid, he said, and the town also faces rising costs for employee health care benefits, as well as employee salary increases.
“Uncertainty makes for difficult budgeting, but we’re going to try to do the best we can,” said Koetzle, who as supervisor is also the budget officer.
The current town budget totals $18.34 million. That budget raised property taxes 2.34 percent, which caused the two Democrats on the Town Board to vote against the budget’s adoption.
Koetzle, a Republican, said his biggest concern is that the state has cut most Aid to Municipalities payments, saying those payments can be made up from projected increases in sales tax payments to counties being re-directed to the towns. Koetzle is concerned, however, that the projected $180,000 payment hasn’t been paid this year, and might not be next year, “which is significant.”
The tax cap for next year will be 2 percent, Koetzle said, which he said means the maximum property taxes can be raised would be $260,000.
Koetzle said the town faces $400,000 in increased salary and benefit expenses, with an estimated $110,000 increase in health insurance premiums alone. Benefit costs for the town’s 130 employees and retirees are expected to exceed $4 million for the first time.
Koetzle said the town is committed to investing in its parks next year, including construction of a concession stand at Maalwyck Park and putting $110,000 toward an addition to the senior center. He said he would also like to continue reducing the town’s $14 million in debt, and reduce use of the town’s fund balance — unspent money raised by taxes — to balance the 2020 budget.
Public budget forums will be held Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m. at the Glenville Town Hall, and Tuesday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m. at the Glenville Senior Center. Koetzle said he expects to present the tentative budget on Sept. 27.