This article has been changed since it was originally published because of revised figures issued by Village of Buchanan officials.
BUCHANAN, N.Y. – Buchanan Village officials say after two budget work sessions they have brought the tax rate increase on the village down from an originally proposed 6.47 percent to 2.75 percent. The village eliminated a recently hired prosecutor from the payroll, left two employee positions vacant for the third year and boosted revenue predictions to shrink the tax increase.
“We all worry about it,” said Mayor Sean Murray, about creating a reasonable budget. “And a lot of times our administrator makes conservative estimates.
The budget is set to be adopted May 1, at a regular village board meeting. If nothing changes, village residents will see a 2.75 percent tax rate increase, from $218.94 per $1,000 of assessed value, to $226.03 of assessed value. Village officials say the average home in Buchanan is assessed at about $4,500, making the average village tax bill $1,017.14.
The total budget is proposed at $8,242,430 currently, with $1,736,190 to be raised through real property taxes. Village Administrator Kevin Hay said the tax levy will be 3.24 percent, and that the tax rate will increase 2.75 percent.
A large portion of Buchanan's budget is paid for by water fund revenue and through a nearly $2 million payment in lieu of taxes agreement with Indian Point Nuclear Power Plants.
“I think we’re on target for most of our estimates. It’s going to be a tough year across the board,” Hay said. “The cap made it a difficult year. We’re going to have to be diligent about our spending and tracking it as we go through the year.”
The Village of Buchanan is only following the spirit of the law by attempting to reduce its proposed tax levy increase, the village board actually overrode the tax levy cap provision months ago.
The tax levy cap, for municipalities, requires a municipality to stay under a 2 percent tax levy increase unless the municipality’s legislative body approves by 60 percent supermajority to override the cap. In a board system similar to Buchanan’s, three out of five board members would have to approve the override.
If the village did not approve an override of the cap, it would have to put any amount which exceeded the 2 percent tax levy cap into a reserve fund to offset the following year’s tax levy.