October 23, 2004

First look at tentative Town Budget

I picked up a copy of the tentative budget at the Dryden Town Hall this week, and have to admit that it's nearly as opaque as last year's budget. I think part of it comes from its level of abstraction: the budget numbers here are department by department, with only one layer of detail explaining where the money goes. That's likely necessary to make it possible to budget, but it does make reading the thing more challenging.

Since I don't know the details of what I'm reading, I'm going to publish a list of highlights here, mainly a summary of tax rates from the front page today and a list of items that have changed substantially from the rest tomorrow. I suspect more information will be available at the town budget workshops and hearings over the next few weeks.

The main tax rate for the town, of $1.47/$1000 assessment, will remain the same. Since assessments have increased, this reflects a 7.1% increase in the tax levy. A few of the other tax rates have declined, notably the Dryden Fire tax, where the levy is down 5.3% after a 31.8% increase last year. (The rate declined 12% after a 21% increase last year.) Here's the list of easily categorized items:

FundLevy 2004Levy 2005Levy changeRate 2004Rate 2005Rate Change
Total General Warrant$846,790$906,9237.1%$1.47$1.470.00%
SF1 Dryden Fire$769,443$728,839-5.3%$1.596$1.410-12%
SL1 Varna Lighting$3,975$4,67517.6%$0.262$0.2776%
SL2 Etna Lighting$3,375$3,97517.8%$0.409$0.4326%
SL3 Meadow/Leisure Lighting$1,990$3,59080.4%$0.510$0.86670%
SM Ambulance District$224,539$246,0009.55%$0.385$0.3922%

My biggest general question with these numbers is with the way the town has separate lines for "Townwide" and "Outside" revenues and appropriations, where I believe "Outside" means outside the villages, but has a zero tax rate for "Outside". I'll have to ask, I guess.

(I believe that the Meadow/Leisure lighting district now has more lights, though I'm not certain of that.)

The water and sewer district calculations are more complicated because they divide costs across multiple factors, including units, acreage, frontage, pipe footage, and assessment. For these I've totaled up the amounts to be raised for the district (the levy) and calculated only a change in the levy. The rate changes will be lower.

DistrictTotal to Raise, 2004Total to Raise, 2005Levy Change
SS1 Sapsucker Sewer$1,200$1,92560.4%
SS2 Varna Sewer$9,520$14,80055.4%
SS3 Cortland Road Sewer$3,100$3,50012.9%
SS4 Monkey Run Sewer$86,597$90,3474.3%
SS5 Turkey Hill Sewer$56,656$62,73410.7%
SS6 Peregrine Sewer$1,493$1,70013.8%
SW1 Varna Water$5,325$5,6255.6%
SW2 Snyder Water$10,000$10,4504.5%
SW3 Monkey Run Water$88,520$90,4502.1%
SW4 Hall Road Water$385$47523.3%
SW5 Turkey Hill Water$52,275$62,17518.9%
Posted by simon at October 23, 2004 4:15 PM in ,
Note on photos