Many unknowns make 2021 budgeting a challenge in Lewis County; property tax increase anticipated | Lewis County

LOWVILLE Lewis County residents are welcome to share their ideas on the almost $50.7 million tentative 2021 county funds in a public listening to on Nov. 19. The proposed funds features a property tax enhance just below 1%.

2021 spending is anticipated to go up 1.31%, from the $50,058,189 for 2020 to $50,716,046 in 2021. Most county departments have much less or solely barely extra money budgeted for the 2021 draft funds; nonetheless, the departments with the biggest enhance $1,006,734 are within the public security division.

For the primary time in 20 years, the funds additionally proposes a wage enhance for the legislators, which totals a $15,000 payroll funds bump.

A good portion of the cash allotted in 2020 was not used this yr due to the constraints created by the COVID-19 disaster and steps taken to mood expenditures, together with a interval of furloughs for some county staff, which precipitated the Common Fund to develop from $8.Eight million in October 2019 to $16.2 million as of final month.

Like final yr, $1.65 million of the final fund stability is allotted in 2021 to assist stability the funds and preserve the tax enhance beneath the state-designated 2% tax cap for the seventh straight yr.

The property tax enhance in 2021 will probably be .86% which can lead to a tax rate-per-thousand {dollars} of worth enhance of seven cents, from $7.49 to $7.56. With this variation, the tax paid on a property valued at $100,000 will probably be $756, a $7 enhance from 2020.

Mixed with a rise within the taxable worth of property within the county of about $69 million, the tax levy is projected to extend 3.91% to $666,212 within the tentative funds.

Price range Officer and County Supervisor Ryan Piche stated there are too many unknowns to deplete the fund with the intention to keep away from elevating taxes or to danger having to interrupt the tax cap with a big tax sooner or later.

The purpose is that if we take a bit of bit from the taxpayers this yr and both nothing or a bit of bit subsequent yr and keep the fund stability… its actually about anticipating that the state cuts are going to be everlasting and that the IGT [county Medicaid payments] cost goes to come back again [up] to what it was a number of years in the past. Thats why utilizing the final fund isnt a good suggestion, Mr. Piche stated.

With a 20% discount in state help doubtless because of the states $16 billion funds deficit and the length and long-term monetary impression of the pandemic unknown, the budgeting course of was tougher this yr.

This is likely one of the tougher budgets that weve completed. I at all times take a look at the funds as our operations plan for subsequent yr and thats what a funds must be and also you begin with that premise and work your approach again into the numbers, Mr. Piche stated. However with none thought of how subsequent month goes to prove, not to mention the subsequent six to 12 months, its very tough to kind an working plan subsequently its very tough to place collectively a spending plan. So, that is our approach of getting ready for what might be a worst-case situation whereas sustaining the federal government providers that we are able to.

Though Lewis County officers feared important gross sales tax losses due to the pandemic, Mr. Piche reported that the web gross sales tax, which was paid to native governments for the primary time this yr, helped the county to extend gross sales tax income by 170% within the first half of this yr.

Going into 2021, we’re anticipating an identical development. The budgeted gross sales tax income will maintain at $11.Eight million for a second yr, Mr. Piche stated, noting that the state will once more count on county governments to pay for an extra program because it did final yr with the Support and Incentives for Municipalities program, In a disturbing development, the state is once more going to the effectively of county gross sales tax in 2021, this time to fund the states Fiscally Distressed Well being Services program.

Mixed, the state packages will take $321,479 of the county gross sales tax income. Nonetheless, the beneficiaries of these packages are within the county.

The 2021 tentative funds public listening to will probably be held at 5 p.m. Nov. 19 within the legislative board room on the second ground of the courthouse constructing, 7660 N. State St. The listening to will probably be adopted by a board of legislators assembly.

As a consequence of restricted house permitting for social distancing, feedback could be submitted by electronic mail to, or by mail to the Lewis County Board of Legislators, 7660 N. State St., Lowville NY 13367, no later than Three p.m. on the day of the assembly.

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