WILSON – The Wilson Town Board will hold a public hearing 7 p.m. today on a proposed $3.2 million budget for 2013 that holds the line on taxes.
The meeting is set for Town Hall, 375 Lake St.
The Town Board proposes no increase to the current tax rate of $3.97 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, according to Town Supervisor Joseph A. Jastrzemski. The total proposed budget of $3.2 million for 2013 represents a $21,986 increase in spending over the current budget.
This is due to the town’s mandated contributions to its employees’ health benefits, New York State retirement and the (volunteer) firefighters’ retirement costs, Jastrzemski said.
Jastrzemski said town officials lowered the tax rate for town and village residents last year and plan to do so again for 2013, using reserves to help absorb the amount town and village residents pay toward the Fireman’s Service Award. Otherwise, the program would cost all taxpayers an estimated 32 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation in 2013, he said.
The retirement incentive is available to members of Wilson No. 1 Fire Company and South Wilson Fire Company and will cost $89,000 in 2013.
Jastrzemski added that the Town Board has estimated a roughly $12,000 increase in revenues for next year to $1.9 million, which he termed “conservative,” as well as an estimated fund balance of $134,500.
In addition, the proposed 2013 budget includes a two percent, across-the-board pay increase for all town employees, but no increase, once again, for elected officials.
“I feel this is a very responsible budget that still allows us to purchase some equipment,” he said. “We need to replace a pickup truck and a roadside mower. We are putting some money away for future purchases and to paint the water tower.
“This budget keeps spending under control for today, but does not strap us for the future,” he said, adding that the department heads, “each brought responsible budgets to us.”
The budget must be adopted by Nov. 20.