Medina’s village budget raises taxes 5.45%

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 April 2019 at 1:12 pm

MEDINA – The Village Board approved a $5.9 million budget on Monday that will increase taxes by 5.45 percent.

The budget will increase the tax levy, what the village collects in taxes, by $162,239 – from $2,975,955 to $3,138,194.

The tax rate, however, will increase by 1.65 percent or by 29 cents, from $18.03 to $18.32. The rate would have increased more but the village’s assessed value increased by 3.74 percent or $6.2 million, from $165.1 million to $171.3 million.

The Village Board believed the budget was under the tax cap, which is generally about a 2 percent increase. However, after the meeting Orleans Hub editor Tom Rivers told the board he believed the tax cap is based on the tax levy not the tax rate. The levy increased 5.45 percent.

After village officials researched the issue this morning, the board will have a special meeting to vote to override the cap and will have to vote again on the budget. That meeting will likely be 3:45 Wednesday. The board has until April 30 to have the spending plan in place.

The taxes are on the rise partly because the village is using $75,000 less in surplus funds in 2019-20. The current budget allowed the village to use $300,000 in surplus money. Next year, the budget calls for using $225,000. That $75,000 difference accounts for about half of the tax increase.

This was the ninth village budget that Owen Toale has been a part of as village trustee.

“This was without a doubt the most difficult budget I had to do,” he said during Monday’s board meeting. “It was extremely difficult. We want to keep it as low as we can.”

Overall spending actually went down in the budget by $6,122 – from $5,947,932 to $5,941,810.

The village budgeted $14,000 less in capital projects and $11,169 less in employee benefits.

However, employee salaries are up by $174,839 to $2,850,949 and debt service also will increase by $46,484 to $305,317.

The budget includes $48,000 for 20 new air packs and 40 air bottles for the Fire Department. Medina will be paying $48,000 each of the next three years towards the equipment. The new bottles will hold enough air for firefighters for 45 minutes, rather than the current ones which have a supply for about 20 to 30 minutes, Mayor Mike Sidari said.

The budget also includes $50,000 towards a computer upgrade for the Police Department, and $5,000 for upgrades to an office and the locker rooms for police officers.

The village also will be replacing a dump truck for the Department of Public Works.

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