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January 11, 2022 - 8:20am

Proposed City of Batavia budget calls for 78-cent decrease in property tax rate for 2022-23

posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, city of batavia, city council.

Barring any changes made during the budget workshop process, the City of Batavia’s property tax rate for the 2022-23 fiscal year will be $8.94 per $1,000 of assessed value – a decrease of 78 cents from last year’s rate.

City Manager Rachael Tabelski shared details of the municipality’s $17.7 million budget at Monday night’s City Council Business Meeting at City Hall Council Board Room.

Putting the tax rate into perspective, Tabelski said that 5,700 properties in the city support the city’s General Fund operating budget.

"The property taxes they pay make up 34 percent of our total budget revenue," she said. "And the typical tax bill for a resident that owns a house assessed at $100,000 will be $894 under this proposed manager’s budget. The county tax for that same home is $916 and the school tax (is) $2,057."

The proposed General Fund lists a tax levy increase of $121,403, Tabelski said, noting that plans call for reinstatement of service, personnel and equipment purchase. Additionally, the water and sewer funds are stable, and improvements in infrastructure are on the table.

Tabelski highlighted the amount invested into the city in recent years, stating that $132 million in public and private investments are changing the landscape of Batavia.

“Batavia is going to continue to fly back from its rust belt city status, embrace its vibrant roots, double down on the investment and continue to focus on economic growth and neighborhood revitalization,” she said, referring to the impact of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award the city received and other large-scale corporate projects.

Her presentation indicated that $96 million already has been invested, $36 million more is in the works and another $42 million is planned.

Last year presented a “dismal revenue picture,” Tabelski said, but things “look much better” for 2022-23.

She said that 41 percent of the budget revenue is from sales tax (budgeting for $6.8 million in sales tax), while property taxes will bring in around $6 million. State aid is pegged at $1.75 million.

“Real property tax is the most stable revenue supporting the General Fund budget,” she noted.

The city manager also mentioned increases in assessed value, stating that the city’s assessed value of property has grown by about 26 percent over the past eight years compared to a 49 percent increase in assessed value in the Town of Batavia.

“A major way of creating additional revenue is to improve the overall value of our commercial and residential properties,” she said. “That’s through investment and new builds, and for continuing the strategy with the Brownfield Opportunity Area and the DRI.”

Tabelski said that about a quarter of the city’s property is not taxable – and that amounts to around $220 million.

The General Fund budget also will be supported by $275,000 in appropriated fund balance, $275,000 in water fund transfer and $130,000 in (one-time) retirement reserves, she said.

“(The year) 2021 has been another unprecedented year,” she said. “However, the city saw revenues rebound with full payments on state aid that helped us avoid layoffs and unfreeze positions throughout the year.

“The difficulty we still face is prices of commodities, hiring and retaining great workers, as this continues to be difficult,” she said. “Overall, the budget you have before you provides more resources to the departments, adds in services that were previously cut or underfunded and strives to meet the needs of the residents of the city of Batavia.”

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