Russell Gardens unveils proposed 2017-18 $1.57 million budget

Russell Gardens unveils proposed 2017-18 $1.57 million budget

Village of Russell Gardens trustees on Thursday introduced a $1.57 million budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year, which calls for a decrease of just under $400,000 in spending from this year.
The proposed budget, which runs from March 1, 2017, to Feb. 28, 2018, also calls for the village to collect $1,209,708 in property taxes, down about $350,000 from the 2016-17 budget.
Russell Gardens Mayor Steve Kirschner said at Thursday’s Board of Trustees meeting that the decrease in taxes is due to the completion of a three-year plan to purchase  parkland and tennis courts from the Russell Gardens Association, a homeowners group in the village.
“Everybody’s tax bill will be substantially reduced,” Kirschner said.
Three years ago the village raised taxes by just under 30 percent, he said, and the amount raised by property taxes remained for the three years it took to complete the park purchase.
Kirschner said now that the village is finished making those payments, it would collect taxes equal to the amount  collected before the purchase.
Since the village reassessed all of its homes this year, he said, some homeowners will see a larger decrease in their tax bill than others.
The average decrease in village taxes would be about 22 percent, Kirschner said.
He also said the village is anticipating having about $1.3 million in surplus funds at the end of the current fiscal year, which could be used, for example, if the public works department needed to fix one of its trucks or if it needed to purchase more salt for a heavy snowfall.
Aside from property taxes, the village is anticipating revenue from a $150,000 state grant it received about two and a half years ago for its tennis courts, $25,000 in building permit fees and $15,000 in fines.
The board unanimously voted to schedule a public hearing for Jan. 5 to discuss the budget and take comment from residents. The meeting will begin at 8 p.m.

By Joe Nikic

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