The Village of Lake George 2019-2020 preliminary budget proposed by Mayor Blais is projected to exceed the State’s Tax Cap.
The Village’s tax rate is projected to increase from $5.99 to $6.49 per thousand of assessed valuation beginning with their June 1, 2019 fiscal year.
The Mayor’s budget calls for a total of $5,882,182 in appropriations compared to $5,585,897 in 2018-19. Revenues have also increased from $3,466,910 to $3,885,888. The budget calls for use of $500,000 in surplus funds leaving $1,496,297 to be raised by taxes.
The Village Tax Cap permissible tax rate is $6.11 and the Mayor’s budget exceeds that by .38 per thousand. A home valued at $250,000 will pay $125 more per year, the first increase in six years in the Village.
The Mayor’s preliminary budget includes a $60,000 appropriation, along with a $40,000 balance to put funds aside now anticipating a $427,000 debt service to pay for a new Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Allocating funds now and next year will soften the impact of that debt payment when it becomes due in full in 2021-22.
The Village budget also eliminates the State’s AIM payments as recommended by Governor Cuomo and any funds from the Village for fireworks and some free concerts in Shepard Park.
Insurance costs, health insurance and other employee benefits continue to rise as well as new Volunteer Firemen’s Cancer Mandate by New York State. Health insurance is a $460,000 appropriation.
The Mayor’s budget includes raises for all employees including a new increase in the Village’s starting wage to $18.00 per hour. All Department Heads are projected to receive a $2,000 per year increase or about 3%.
The Village has experienced difficulty in filling positions over the past several years and the raises were necessary to compete in the current marketplace for municipal employees. There are no increases for elected officials.
Under a new sharing program with the Town of Lake George the budget saves approximately $30,000 in seasonal employees such as lifeguards, now sharing them with the Town. The Village picks up the cost of maintaining the Town’s new Gateway landscaping with their existing Beautification personnel.
Village officials are also considering hiring Second Chance NY employees to maintain their restroom facilities due to the lack of seasonal workers available.
The budget continues the Village’s extensive beautification program, supports the LG Arts Project, Community Band, Student Connection and the Teen Center. It does not include the purchase of any major equipment, reduces the size of the Peace Officers presence and eliminates some support funding for special events.
“As predicted our planned new Wastewater Treatment Plant makes this a very difficult budget,” the Mayor said, “However, adding the necessary expenses now, and over the next three years will soften the blow to our largest taxpayers.”
Should the Village receive any additional grants towards the new plant in the next two years the impact will be lessened considerably.
Questions please call Mayor Robert Blais 518-668-5771