Three villages have public hearings on their tentative 2013-14 budgets slated for 7 p.m. Monday. Barker and Wilson will hold public hearings following reorganizing meetings welcoming two new mayors, while the Lewiston board also presents its tentative budget to residents.
After being sworn in to his new post, Barker Mayor Aaron Nellist will oversee a presentation of the tentative $401,969 budget that lowers the tax rate by a dollar per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
The tax rate is proposed to drop from $8 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to $7 per $1,000.
The tax rate decrease is expected to help offset jumps in some property owners’ taxes following the townwide property assessment re-evaluation last year to a full, 100 percent value.
“We don’t have an assessor, so this is done by the town [of Somerset],” explained Nellist. “Some taxpayers in the village will see their rates rise, some will stay steady, and some will drop.
“We had a spirited discussion but felt that we couldn’t leave the tax rate at $8 per $1,000 because that would be a very large increase for some. But we might have to revisit that.
“My job as mayor is to be the steward of the village taxpayers’ money, and I am hoping for a good turnout at the public hearing Monday because we want public opinion on this budget,” Nellist said.
The tentative budget contains a roughly $35,000 increase in expenditures over the current budget, attributed to the rising cost of mandatory retirement benefits and $26,000 to be set aside for new sidewalks, a new roof and lighting for the village park gazebo and paving of East Avenue between Coleman Road and High Street. The new budget also includes Phase II of the water line replacement project, which will be completed this year.
Meanwhile, rates are expected to remain pretty much the same in the Village of Wilson, where Deputy Mayor Bernard “Bernie” Leiker will be sworn in as the new mayor Monday, then preside over the public hearing regarding the tentative $715,869 budget.
The tentative tax rate remains steady at $7.37 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
“The budget is very much like last year’s – we’re not raising taxes,” said Leiker. “[Former Mayor] Pat Kelahan lowered taxes three years in a row and we can’t go any lower – but we’re not going to raise them.”
The budget includes a $107,180 water fund, with a water tax rate remaining steady at $3.15 per 1,000 gallons used; and a $253,966 sewer fund, with a sewer tax rate remaining steady at $8 per gallon for 1,000 gallons used.
Leiker said all property owners will be charged a bond interest payment of 32 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation for the estimated $1.5 million in improvements being made to the waste-water treatment plant, which will be completed this fall.
This would amount to a fee of $32 for a home assessed at $100,000, for example.
Lewiston’s tentative $3,340,186 budget also holds the line on taxes at $7.12 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
Youngstown will hold a public hearing on its tentative budget April 11, while Middleport’s is slated for April 15. Village budgets must be adopted by May 1.