Cortland 2015 Proposed Budget Includes Slight Increases in Taxes and Spending
The 2015 budget season is officially underway in the City of Cortland, Mayor Brian Tobin has released his proposed budget which kicks the process off.
On Friday, City Administrator Mack Cook released the proposed $24.9 million dollar spending plan. Spending would increase slightly next year while taxes would increase less than a half a percent.
The tax levy would increase just over $28 thousand dollars, which is a .35% increase over the current year. The City tax rate would remain unchanged at $15.60 per thousand of assessed value.
Tobin said he was able to keep taxes down in part due to the fact that the City has seen $1.8 million dollar increase in taxable value over the past year, that's due to some new homes being built near Yaman Park as well as the return of the former Buckbee Mears manufacturing facility to the tax rolls. The plant was auctioned off last February, since 2009 it had been removed from the tax rolls by the City to avoid paying delinquent school taxes. In addition homes in the City have been selling above assessed value.
The budget assumes no increase in state aid and assumes a slight increase of 1.5% in sales tax returns.
Tobin says there are no planned lay-offs in the budget, some positions may not be filled as departments use technology and other ways to streamline services.
The budget includes $50 thousand dollars to begin a 4 year program to replace aging playground equipment at city parks, $45 thousand dollars to address repairs at City hall, including a new elevator. There is also $20 thousand dollars for street scape maintenance in the downtown business district.
There is no planned increase in water or sewer rates in the budget for next year.
Tobin says the budget comes in under the State imposed property tax cap, which means that Cortland residents will be eligible for a state funded tax rebate, Tobin says he is looking to work with the County to come in under the cap so that residents can see the full benefit of the rebate program.
The budget will be presented to the Common Council on Tuesday night, the Council then has until the end of the year to make changes or revisions to final spending plan.