BATAVIA — The Batavia Town Board is considering a 2022 budget with a 12%, or 34-cent, reduction in the tax rate.

Town Board member Chad Zambito said there will be a budget hearing at 7:10 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Town Hall. The budget includes total appropriations, general fund and highway fund of $6.2 million. The proposed tax rate would drop from $2.85 per $1,000 of assessed property value this year to $2.51 per $1,000 for next year. The proposed tax levy is currently at $1.23 million. The board adopted the preliminary budget during Wednesday night’s meeting.

“We saved some money last year during COVID. Our revenues are up, which helps. Assessments are up a little bit, which helps as well,” Zambito said Thursday. “We are using a little bit of reserve fund balance (to reduce the tax rate).”

The COVID pandemic didn’t have as much of an impact on the town financially as it thought the pandemic would.

“Last year at this time, looking ahead to 2021, we really expected it to be a more difficult year than it’s been, not that it hasn’t been difficult, but it certainly wasn’t catastrophic,” he said. “We were able to reduce some costs by keeping people out of the office (having employees work remotely). We’re actually in a pretty good position this year due to some hard work last year.”

Zambito said a lot of that has to do with the sales tax Genesee County is sharing.

“Our total expected revenue for 2022 — estimated revenue is $2.5 million. We plan on using $1.18 million from unexpended fund balance (to reduce the tax rate),” he said. “Revenues have been up and been strong. This is a very good budget. We put a lot of time and effort into it, able to reduce the tax rate for residents when (the cost of) everything else is going up.

“With fuel costs going up and things like that, we’ll see some increases, but we don’t expect any major increases in line items,” Zambito said of the preliminary budget. “Hopefully we budgeted for that, but you never know. I think our biggest concern is always with the highway, along with the cost of salt for the winter. Those are factors we can’t control, so we try and budget for those.”

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