By Dave Fidlin
Through a series of nips and tucks, Village of Rochester officials recently minted a 2017 budget, which reflects an increase in the tax rate and a series of maneuvers designed to keep the levy in check.
Clerk-Treasurer Betty Novy recently presented the Village Board with a balanced $2.06 million operating plan for the year ahead.
Included within the budget is a base levy of $941,549, up 5.5 percent from last year’s levy of $892,346. However, the board adopted a plan to apply $487,758 from the 2016 budget toward the 2017 document to mitigate the impact the levy would have.
The application of the $487,758 is the result of unspent funds linked to capital projects and other incidentals this past year.
Alongside the budget itself is the revelation the village’s overall tax rate is on the rise, from $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed value a year ago to $2.59 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2017.
This year’s budget went through several channels for vetting, including the appointed Finance Committee, before it was presented to the full board for adoption.
Village President Ed Chart said this year’s budget-building process had a series of twists and turns as he and his elected colleagues weighed the tax impact against the cost of maintaining services and infrastructure across the community.
“Some of these projects cost money,” Chart said. “It was a tough situation.”
Adding to the challenges on the revenue side of the ledger was the anticipated decrease in other income sources that make up a smaller piece of the overall pie.
Intergovernmental revenue, for instance, is expected to decrease 10 percent in the year ahead, from $230,320 in 2016 to $207,140 next year.
The village also is anticipating an 8.4-percent decrease in revenue gleaned from licenses and permits. Last year’s budget included $149,795 for that line item, while next year’s budget reflects an anticipated $137,140 in revenue.
On the other side of the equation, the village also is anticipating an increase in a number of expenditures, including a 3.5 percent increase in the cost of general government operations — from $275,716 in 2016 to $285,444 next year — which includes fees for services funneled out of village hall.
Also on the rise is the public works department’s budget, from $301,748 in 2016 to $306,809 next year.