BATAVIA — As towns hold public hearings and finalize their budgets over the next few weeks, they’ll reportedly have more revenue coming to them for next year then they previously thought.
The county plans to distribute about $10 million to the towns and villages rather than the $8 million it previously said it would allocate.
“We were asking the towns if they could hold off as long as possible before finalizing their budgets,” County Manager Matt Landers said Tuesday. “It was my goal to increase that from $8 million to $10 million and luckily ... we now feel confident enough to give $10 million in 2021.
“The towns are going through their budgets like we are right now. Towns can take this information and use this to decide what to levy in taxes. Towns will have the ability to take this into consideration when adopting their 2021 budgets,” Landers said.
He said the proposal will be brought up at today’s Legislature meeting.
Landers said villages are on a different budget calendar than the towns.
“The information we are providing will impact their ‘21-’22 budget.” he said. “Their (2020-21) budget is set right now.”
The county expects to distribute the following revenue amounts to the towns and villages, based on equalized taxable value — the amount after the equalization rate is divided into the town’s county taxable assessed value:
• Batavia, $1,692,733;
• Pembroke, $1,023,383
• Darien, $973,751;
• Le Roy, $824,606
• Stafford, $651,846
• Pavilion, $544,694
• Bergen, $510,034
• Byron, $462,932;
• Bethany, $410,123
• Alabama, $408,817
• Alexander, $399,714
• Elba, $361,341
• Oakfield, $300,052
• Le Roy, $720,318
• Oakfield, $199,954
• Bergen, $199,528
• Corfu, $138,044
• Elba, $106,922
• Alexander, $71,208
Batavia Supervisor Greg Post said an increase in county revenue distribution would change the town’s budget numbers “substantially for the better.”
“These numbers are gratefullv and happily received,” Post said Tuesday of the updated revenue distribution information. “We’re going to be in a much better place and it’s a testament to the robust economy throughout the county ... that is diversified.”
The town’s tentative budget included a proposed tax rate increase of $2.16 per $1,000 of assessed property value taking the rate from $2.45 per $1,000 to $4.61 per $1,000. With last week’s announcement of the increased revenue distribution, Batavia and other towns and villages with have to crunch the numbers again.
Post said the town has a work session today at 5 p.m. at the Town Hall and that it will take additional time to rework the budget figures.
“Through the day and evening (today) and next week, we’ve got a lot of work to reformat,” Post said. “Thursday, Friday, it’s hard to tell when we’ll be finished. The numbers look a lot better than they did last week and we’ll come out with a new (proposed) tax rate.”
The town said earlier this month that it plans to adopt a preliminary budget Oct. 21, hold a public hearing Nov. 4 and adopt of the final 2021 budget on Nov. 18.
In Le Roy, the village is anticipating $824,606 in revenue distributed by the county for 2021.
Supervisor Jim Farnholz, said the towns and villages were updated last week on the distribution amount.
“Every town in Genesee County is in the same boat we are. None of us are complaining about the extra money. Because we do have a time limit from the state (for budget adoption, everybody’s hustling,” he said.
Farnholz said under the initial distribution of revenue by the county, the town of Le Roy would have gotten about $653,000 for 2021.
“The preliminary budget I had presented to my board in the last week of September became a rewrite. We’re just about done with it. We have a special meeting this Thursday at 7 p.m. (at the Town Hall) to finish it.”
Farnholz said the Town Board will stay on schedule. A public hearing is schedule for 7 p.m. Oct. 22 in the Town Hall with copies of the proposed budget for people to review and comment and make suggestions on “Whatever changes are made at that time will be voted on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m.,” the town supervisor said.
The town’s tax rate for this year is $1.08 per $1,000 of assessed property value.
“For the preliminary budget, which is subject to change, we were looking at $1.10,” Farnholz said of the tax rate proposed initially. “With this disbursement, we will have to dig significantly less deep into our fund balance in order to provide services and keep the tax levy reasonable. My hope is that with that extra disbursement, we would be looking at a very, very small, if any, tax increase.”
Pavilion Supervisor Rob LaPoint said the town has a tentative general fund budget of $402,574 and highway budget of $748,529.
“Our total tax levy (for the town) is remaining the same at $150,000, which works out to a rate of $1.1011 per $1,000,” LaPoint said. “This rate is slightly lower than last year’s rate of $1.1084 per $1,000.” LaPoint said Pavilion will take up the issue of the budget at its meeting today and hold a public hearing on Nov. 4. The budget will be adopted before the Nov. 20 deadline, he said.
“I would like to note that while we are not raising taxes in 2021, we do anticipate using over $150,000 of our existing fund balance. The town has a robust fund balance which is nearing its upper limit set forth in our Fund Balance Policy. It is my opinion that because we have the option to offset a tax increase this year it would be beneficial for the town to wait until we have less uncertainty about the future of our revenues to make a decision about our tax levy amount.”