Potsdam town approves $4.1 million budget for 2020
Thursday, November 7, 2019 - 5:26 pm

BY CRAIG FREILICH
North Country This Week

POTSDAM -- The Town Council on Wednesday, Nov. 6 approved a $4.1 million budget for 2020 that lowers the tax levy and the property tax rate, avoiding any issues with the state’s 2% property tax cap.

The unanimous vote in favor followed a hearing on the budget before the regular board meeting.

County Legislator David Haggard, a Democrat representing District 10 in Potsdam, spoke about his position that towns and villages in the county should not see a reduction in their share of state sales tax, as has been discussed in the county legislature.

“I would not vote to have any cut whatsoever,” he said. If the county sees state increased state mandates coming down to them, they should “not pass them down to towns and villages” to cover the county’s extra expense, he said.

Appropriations for 2020 stand at $4.106 million, down from $4.116 million for 2019.

Estimated revenues for 2020 are $1.842 million, compared with $1.856 million in 2020.

Unexpended balance in 2020 is expected to be $73,000 compared with $63,000 in 2019.

The tax levy, how much the town will raise by taxes, is at $2.191 million for 2020, down from $2.197 million in 2019.

The tax base – the value of all the property in the town – rose from $1.185 billion in 2019 to $1.193 billion for 2020.

The tax rate will be lower. The owner of a $100,000 property paid $443 in town property taxes in 2019, and will pay $439.80 in 2020.

Budgeted Fire Protection District expenses are up from $288,441.50 in 2019 to $296,669 in 2020.

There was some discussion during the regular meeting of what the state’s policy was regarding distribution of the online sales taxes they are collecting.

“We don’t know what the state distribution will be,” said Leg. Haggard. “It’s not predictable, so we can’t budget for it. We believe the state is taking it in; we believe they are working on it,” he said.