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Tupper Lake village begins budget process

Trustees face initial tax levy increase of 28 percent

The Tupper Lake Village Board.

The Tupper Lake Village Board. Photo by Andy Flynn.

— Tupper Lake Village Board members began the process of crafting a 2012-13 budget this past week with the expectation of adopting a spending plan by May 1.

And while trustees may exceed the state’s mandated 2 percent tax levy increase, Mayor Paul Maroun says the tax rates in the village will not increase due to the revaluation of real property this year in the town of Tupper Lake.

“Normally in a reval, a third of the properties go up, a third go down, and a third stay the same. I haven’t looked at all the figures, but I‘m guessing it was roughly like that,” Maroun said at the April 16 Village Board meeting. “If your house was assessed the same as it was last year, you will have a tax reduction this year.”

Not all houses will be assessed at the same level they were before the reval, as the town of Tupper Lake’s assessment rose by about $32 million, from $105,347,054 in 2011 to $137,525,069 in 2012.

The post-reval tax rate is now $15.26 per $1,000 assessed, down from $15.54 per $1,000. And that tax rate decrease is giving the Village Board leverage to possibly increase the tax levy more than the 2 percent tax cap.

“I’ve recommended to the board that we try and put some of the increased value in dollars into accounts so that next year we don’t have to have a dramatic increase in the tax rate … that we have a reserve fund,” Maroun said. “There’s only two things we can do. We can reduce the tax levy by a large amount and then be in trouble next year or try to put it into different accounts that we may or may not have to use, whichever is not expended roll over into our reserve account. We’re trying to be steadfast so that we have a steady ship.”

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