Albion budget holds the line on town taxes

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 November 2015 at 12:00 am

ALBION – The proposed 2016 Albion town budget would keep the tax rates the same – $4.25 per $1,000 of assessed property outside the village and $2.85 for property inside the village.

The Town Board had a public hearing Monday evening on the budget, which includes 2 percent raises for town employees except for the five Town Board members and the highway superintendent. The pay for those positions will stay the same.

The budget includes a wild card with The Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center, the former county nursing home. That is on the tax rolls for the first time with a $6,618,900 assessment. However the owners, Comprehensive Healthcare Management Services LLC, are seeking to reduce the assessment to $2.5 million with a legal challenge.

If the assessment stays at $6,618,900, the town stands to gain another $28,130 in tax revenue. If the assessment is $2.5 million, the town would collect $10,625 in taxes.

Town Supervisor Matt Passarell said the budget includes conservative numbers for the nursing home. However the assessment challenge ends up, Passarell said the facility will give the town’s tax base a nice increase.

Passarell and the Town Board said the town will continue to chip in with programs inside the village, with $8,000 set aside for the village parks program. The town also expects to continue with $1,000 towards flowers in the downtown business district.

“This board has been very proactive in reaching out to the village,” said Richard Remley, a Town Board member.

Passarell and the board said they would like to continue meeting regularly with the Village Board to discuss ways to share services and other cooperation.

The preliminary budget includes $919,081 for the general and highway funds, which is a tiny increase over the $918,277 in 2015.

The fire protection portion of the budget is its own line item and shows a decrease for 2016, down from $113,189 to $105,000. That will also result in a drop in the fire protection rate, which was $1.23 in 2015.

The Town Board plans to adopt the budget on Monday at 7 p.m. during a meeting at Town Hall.