By Stephen J. Kotz
A growing tax base and better than expected revenue from things like building permits and mortgage taxes mean that North Haven residents can look forward to lower property taxes for the second year in a row.
“This looks good,” commented Mayor Jeff Sander as the village board met on Tuesday, March 22, to review a proposed $1,386,558 budget.
Although spending is tentatively set to rise by just over $35,000, the tax rate has been projected to fall from $0.5439 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to $0.5194 for the coming year.
That’s because the village’s total assessed valuation — the value of all the real estate in the village — has leapt by more than $98 million, to $1.67 billion. That figure will not be finalized until later this year, and village treasurer Eileen Tuohy said it might even continue to rise.
Ms. Tuohy also said the village, which last year projected $376,000 in non-tax revenues, had already received $414,000 and was on pace to receive a total of $434,399 by the end of the fiscal year. Among the big changes were in building permits, where the village anticipated receiving $135,000 and has already received $229,837, and mortgage taxes, where the village projected $127,000 in revenue but is on pace to take in $140,000.
The budget also calls for the village to apply $82,000 from its fund balance to further reduce the need for revenue from property taxes. That will still leave the village with an estimated $275,000 in surplus, which would be added to its fund balance, giving it a cushion of $1,160,020 at the end of the fiscal year.
Board members went over the numbers during the brief meeting and said they expected to move forward with plans to install solar panels on Village Hall, add additional catch basins in flood-prone areas, repave some roads, replace lights in the Village Hall parking lot and even replace the carpet in the board’s meeting room, which is at least 25 years old and showing its age.
The board went into executive session to discuss employee salaries, and will reconvene at 3:45 p.m. on Monday, March 28, to finalize the budget before holding an April 5 public hearing on the spending plan.