Pointing to the Town of Batavia’s robust economy, Supervisor Gregory Post on Wednesday released the municipality’s tentative budget for 2020 – a $5.1 million spending plan that holds the line on property taxes.
“Our strong and viable economic development policy adds to the assessed value and increases our revenue without raising the (tax) rate,” he said. “We’re seeing PILOTS (payments in lieu of taxes) coming off, several instances of (company) expansion, and an increase in engineering review fees … and this will enable us to keep the rate flat for the foreseeable future.”
The general fund budget calls for $1.04 million to be raised by property taxes – with the rate of $2.44 per thousand of assessed valuation, the same as the rate in 2019. Last year’s tax rate was 20 cents per thousand less than the 2018 rate.
At $2..44 per thousand, owners of a home assessed at $90,000 would pay $219.60 for the year.
The Town Board has estimated 2020 revenues to be $3.077 million, which means that $992,310 will be used from an unexpended fund balance to reach the $5.1 million in appropriations.
Post said the board is projecting a $543,000 increase in spending over last year, but $500,000 of that is earmarked as a capital project line item pertaining to the Town Hall building.
“We need to establish it (capital project) if we want to explore refurbishing and remodeling of the Town Hall,” he said. “We have no authorization to spend that yet, but this is how the process begins.”
The supervisor indicated that water and sewer rates will go up slightly – about 3 percent – “which equates to a 7- or 8-cent increase per 1,000 gallons.
“We’re seeing significant increases in revenues, especially from the industrial use on the east side of the Town,” he said. “We’re truly blessed to have those businesses there (referring to the Genesee Valley Agribusiness Park on East Main Street).”
Post also said that personnel salary increases range from 2.5 to 3.5 percent, with raises determined on a “case by case evaluation.” He noted that the Town has been able to cap health insurance costs at the same level as 2019.
“We have been advised to anticipate additional work, particularly in the courts … 30 to 35 percent more administrative work and time spent in the courts, and we have to compensate for that.”
The Town Board will convene at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays to continue to review the spending plan, and is expected to adopt the preliminary budget at its Oct. 16 meeting. A public hearing is scheduled for Nov. 6, with a vote on the final plan set for Nov. 20.