At their most recent public meeting, the Village of Roslyn board of trustees approved the 2003-2004 budget. Total general fund appropriations come to $3.9 million, an increase over last year's total of $2.5 million. In addition, real estate taxes amount to $2.4 million. The new tax rate is $20.14365, a slight increase over the 2002/2003 rate of $19.36619.
Trustee Marshall Bernstein said the village had to borrow $3 million for capital improvements for the roads and the sewer system. Additional debt services and increased insurance costs were also cited as reasons for the tax increase.
Assessed values on all village property fell by .02 percent. If the village had property to assess, then the tax rate could see a decrease. This may be the case whenever the Forest City Daly senior housing development is built.
On the spending side, there were increases in varying degrees in all areas of budget appropriations. The Public Safety, Transportation, Culture and Recreation, and Employee Benefits portion of the budget will see only slight spending increases. The village's fire department budget, for instance, will total $397,109 for the coming year, a small increase over last year's total of $358,271. For many villages, fire department spending takes up a large bulk of total appropriations.
Areas of the budget, which are scheduled for the largest increases, are General Government Support, Home and Community Services, and Debt Service.
For the 2003-2004 budget year, the General Government Support budget will total $1.095 million, up from last year's expenditures of $625,525.
Within that budget, there were increases in outlays for the board of trustees, village justice, auditor, clerk treasurer, assessor, village attorneys, election, village hall, and a special items. There was a slight decrease in the village engineer budget. The village hall budget saw much of its increase come from the maintenance and postage segments of the budget. Spending for the landscaping budget had a slight decrease.
Meanwhile, the special items budget experienced most of its increases from outlays for the Ellen E. Ward Clock Tower, the Grist Mill, Downtown Revitalization, and contingency spending for tax certiorari. For instance, the 2002-2003 budget did not have any monies set aside for the work on the clock tower. This year, the village will spend $64,000 on clock tower renovation. Such spending will be offset by state grants of $47,500 for the Grist Mill and $32,000 for the clock tower. In addition, "gifts and donations" for the clock tower are scheduled to reach $32,000.
Likewise, the village spent only $2,500 on Grist Mill work in last year's budget. This year, it will spend up to $47,500 in that area. For 2002-2003, the Downtown Revitalization budget was $1,058. For the coming fiscal year, it will reach $10,000.
Also, the "general" contingency fund was zero for the 2002-2003 fiscal year, even though the village, a year earlier, had approved $12,439 in spending. On a similar note, tax certiorari contingency expenditures were $39,804, significantly lower than the $153,000 that was allotted by the BOT for the 2002-2003 budget. So, the actual numbers for both the 2003-2004 general and tax certiorari contingency budgets may be lower than what was approved.
Actually, this is true of the entire 2002-2003 budget. The modified budget was set at $3,481,521, but the final expenditures totaled $2,538,144.
In addition, the Home and Community Services budget will total $804,350, an increase from the 2002-2003 budget of $390,197.
The sewer system portion is the biggest cause for the increase. Last year, the BOT allotted $231,919 in sewer system expenses. This year, that budget is $593,000.
"The main [fiscal] problem in the village is driven by sewers," Trustee Bernstein said, referring to past legal problems with village has had with the county concerning its sewers, to the repairs and maintenance of the sewers, and finally, to the cost the village must pay to the county for sewage treatment.
Finally, the Debt Service budget will be $953,127, an increase from the 2002-2003 budget of $628,733. Most aspects in the Debt Service budget remained steady, but payments for a new serial bond principal and a serial bond interest led to an overall increase in the budget.
In addition to property taxes, revenues will come, as usual, from a variety of sources. That includes meter payments, sewer rental costs, interest earnings, energy cooperative commissions, plumbing fees, and building permits.
ROS Roslyn budget JS