By JIMMY LAWTON
OGDENSBURG -- A proposed preliminary budget submitted by the city manager’s office would increase the city tax rate by 10.5 percent from $16.21 per $1,000 of assessed value to $17.91 per $1,000.
The proposal has not been approved by City Council and will likely see many changes over the next month as the board modifies the document. The board generally passes the final budget in early December.
The proposal would increase total spending by nearly $600,000 or about 3 percent, from $19,040,650 to $19,638,757.
According to the proposal, households assessed at $50,000 would pay about $85 more in taxes from $811 in 2012 to $895 in 2013.
If approved, the proposal would increase spending on the police department by $224,819, from $3,348,378 and $3,573,197.
Spending on the fire department would increase by $142,249 from $2,992,069 in 2012 to $3,134,318.
Combined these to departments account for 55.82 percent of general fund.
Spending increases were also proposed for the Parks and Recreation and Public Works Departments.
According to the proposal, hikes in New York State Retirement and employee healthcare costs are major factors in the spending increase.
City Comptroller Phil Cosmo, who prepared the budget, said the proposal represents what it would cost to run the city while maintaining the same level of service last year.
"We will have to decide whether we want to continue providing services the citizens have enjoyed and come to expect or reduce services to keep out tax rate somewhat stable," Cosmo said in his letter to the board.
See the complete proposal here.