February 18, 2005

Town taxes grow faster than county

I'm a little late getting to this for 2005, but updating last year's tax summary with 2005 data produces a table showing some troubling trends.

Description2003 Levy% Change
from 2002
2004 Levy% Change
from 2003
2005 Levy% Change
from 2004
Tompkins County Tax $25.1M17.7%6.468300 $31M23.6%7.48400 $33.1M6.5%7.189
Dryden Ambulance $210K-48.5%0.390859 $224K6.9%0.385769 $246K9.5%0.391884
Dryden Town Tax $780K-11.4%1.474037 $846K8.5%1.471969 $914K7.9%1.477593
Dryden Fire Prot $583K3.3%1.314073 $769K31.8%1.597788 $762K-0.9%1.475214
Solid Waste Fee Res $2.5M0.6%$51/unit $2.5M1.9%$52/unit $2.6M0.7%$52/unit

While the County, despite its best efforts, failed to keep its tax levy increase at 3%, it slowed growth to 6.5% after two years closer to 20%.

The Town's levy, on the other hand, increased by 7.9%, while maintaining the same tax rate. (Well, the rate increased 0.3%, but that's not much.) Increased assessments fed that increase, and looking around Dryden it's hard not to think those were mostly increased assessments on existing property, not new construction. The same pattern applies to the 2004 budget, though 2005 shows a slightly smaller increase, likely because assessments increased less.

Dryden Ambulance went up 9.5%, though it's still coming back from the 48% drop in 2003. Taxes for the Fire Protection District (the area outside of the Villages, excluding McLean, which has its own fire district) fell 0.9%. That sounds good, except that last years's 31.8% increase included a lot of one-shot spending, and this year's was largely free of it, so the suggestion that last year was an unusual jump up that would fall back down doesn't seem to have held up.

Posted by simon at February 18, 2005 8:26 AM in
Note on photos