GLENVILLE -- The town faces challenges as preparation of the 2020 town budget starts, but will stay under its 2.94 percent property tax levy cap, Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle said.
There's uncertainty about whether the town will receive $176,000 it formerly received from the state's Aid and Incentives to Municipalities program, he said. The town also faces rising costs for employee health care benefits, as well as employee salary increases.
"Most of the driver of our budget is personnel costs, and constraints on revenue," Koetzle said.
Koetzle will lay out some of the challenges the town is facing in 2020 during a budget forum at Wednesday's Town Board, which starts at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall.
"This is a great chance for the public to have input before anything is finalized," Koetzle said. "We could make changes based on public input."
The current town budget totals $18.34 million. That budget raised property taxes 2.34 percent, and was approved last year by a 3-2 vote, with the Town Board's two Democrats voting against it.
For 2020, the town's tax cap is 2.94 percent, or $265,000, Koetzle said -- an amount he said would be equal to about $5 per household. "We will not exceed the tax cap," he said.
Koetzle said a big concern is that the state has cut most Aid and Incentives to Municipalities payments. The state said those payments can be made up by re-directing to towns the sales tax payments the county receives. So far, he said, the $176,000 expected for 2019 hasn't been paid, and he is concerned that it might not come in 2020.
Fortunately, he said, the town has sufficient surplus that it could absorb the loss of those funds if it had to. "We're in a strong position to absorb it because of the financial decisions we've made in the past," Koetzle said.
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 also wants the town to spend $150,000 per year in each of the next three years on paving projects on town streets, nearly all of which are located in neighborhoods.
Another budget forum will be Tuesday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m. at the Glenville Senior Center. Koetzle said he expects to present the tentative 2020 budget on Sept. 27.