MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. – Homeowners with an average assessed home of $38,000 would pay $104 more on their tax bill under the Mount Kisco village manager’s proposed 2014-15 budget.
The 2.95 percent tax rate increase works out to $95.49 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. For the average assessed home, the total tax bill would be $3,628 under this $20.77 million spending plan.
While assessed values dropped $689,189 to $150.2 million due to the soft real estate market, Village Manager Jim Palmer said settlements from tax certioraris and claims seem to be slowing down.
“So, hopefully that’s a signs of a steady and growing economy,” he said.
Palmer’s proposal would raise the tax levy – the total amount of taxes collected from the community – by 2.49 percent to $14.34 million. The village is allowed to raise its tax levy only 1.48 percent for the 2014-2015 fiscal year under the state mandated property tax cap.
“The village is still compliant with the tax cap with our levy increase of 2.49 percent because we have what’s called a carryover that’s available from being so far under the tax cap last year for the fiscal year ending 2014,” Palmer said.
The tax cap last year was 2 percent, and the village raised its tax levy 1 percent, allowing it to carry over the difference - municipalities can carryover up to 1.5 percent. Palmer said he applied $199,028 of that carryover to his budget proposal.
The tax cap is set each year at the lesser of 2 percent or the consumer price index (CPI). This year, CPI is 1.48 percent for Mount Kisco.
Another advantage this year was a $49,000 decrease in the village’s pension obligations, which Palmer said had risen significantly in recent years.
“But still complying with the tax cap is a challenge, given that other costs continue to go up,” he said, citing a more than 10 percent increase in New York Power Authority’s utility rates.
There are no cuts to staff in this budget proposal. The village has cut a net of about three positions during the last three years, and more have gone unfilled with stagnant revenues and increasing costs forcing the village to play it safe.
“I think we’ve cut as much as we can in that regard,” he said. “So, we’ve tried to reexamine line items in different departments, purchase some items a little bit more efficiently. We’ve also found ways to reduce our health care costs.”
A public hearing on the proposed budget will be held on Monday, April 7, at village hall on 104 E. Main St.