It is budget time and once again, in keeping with our promises when elected, your Preserve Airmont team has responsibly balanced the budget. View it here. The good news is there is no increase in taxes, however, that doesn’t mean balancing the budget wasn’t met with difficulty and tough decisions.
The Ramapo tax assessor valued our Village almost 1 million dollars less than last year. You can see here Airmont Assessment, that the Village valuation dropped from $168,030,873 to $167,074,329. When we questioned the assessor we were given a list of properties with adjusted assessed values but they didn’t add up to the difference in valuation Assessment changes. Furthermore, there are a number of properties that we reported to the assessor as incorrectly exempt for they did not have valid certificate of occupancies for the deduction they were claiming. You can see all the properties in Airmont and their deductions here List of All Airmont properties and exemptions.
What all this means is that without changing even one line item our taxes went up by 2.78%, while the Village tax cap is only 1.184%. The board wanted a 0% increase so you can see we were busy. Years of frugal spending and conservative estimates resulted in a larger surplus this year. After budgeting for the Village’s needs, and realizing that the one time expenses of the welcome sign, Master Plan expense, and front step repair will not be included in next year’s budget, we felt it was warranted to appropriate $72,400 from our surplus in order to keep taxes even.
We are now actively investigating the difference in valuation despite Airmont’s rising home values. Some of the valuation will be corrected in November but the bulk of the investigation will not be complete until next year and only then will we be able to apply a remedy. Residents should be proud though because even with the decreasing assessments over the last few years, the Board has managed to increase road improvements, increase communications spending, give the employee raises, and beautify the Village.
Some notes on the budget:
We gave much deserved raises to the staff that works tirelessly to ensure the Village runs smoothly.
We permanently budgeted for the communications company because we feel she is doing a tremendous job in keeping the residents informed.
The Master Plan budget has its own line this year.
Replacement of the Village Hall front stairs is included in the budget.
We also budgeted for the “Welcome to Airmont” sign and landscaping that will grace the corner of Airmont Rd. and Rt 59.
A new Village computer system was budgeted for in the building department budget.
The Airmont Day budget was increased.
We tended to most of the drainage issues this year that had been put off for years. There is one major one left (Beaver Hollow) that will use up the remainder of this year’s budget and some of next year’s budget. The rest of the drainage budget is to repair the basins along all of the roads we repave.
The public hearing to pass this budget is scheduled for November 20th. I want to again thank the talented Village staff for their efforts and the Village Board for their hard work in getting things done quickly and efficiently.
-Mayor Phil Gigante