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Ellicott Board Releases Tentative Budget Plan

FALCONER — There is a slight tax levy increase and a double digit tax rate decrease for the villages and the town in the tentative 2021 Ellicott budget.

On Monday, the Ellicott Town Board discussed the tentative budget during a special meeting. In the proposed budget, the tax levy will increase by 2%, or $65,188, going from $2,614,476 this year to $2,679,664 next year. According to the state Department of Taxation and Finances, the tax levy is the amount raised through property taxes.

The proposed tax rate for the town outside of the villages will decrease by 15%, or 82 cents, and will be $4.75 per $1,000 assessed property value. The proposed tax rate for both the village of Celoron and Falconer is decreasing by 13%, or 61 cents, and will be $4.66 per $1,000 assessed property value. According to the state Department of Taxation and Finances, the tax rate is determined by dividing the tax levy by the total taxable assessed value of all property in a jurisdiction.

Last month when discussing the tentative budget, Pat McLaughlin, town supervisor, said town officials would need to cut about $100,000 from the 2020 budget to make ends meet. He said town officials cut about $71,000 from last year’s budget, which included giving no elected officials a pay increase and not purchasing a new car for the Ellicott Police Department. He thanked town department heads for understanding the challenges being faced in preparing the 2021 budget because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to a lot of unknowns when it comes to revenues like sales tax. McLaughlin said town officials expect sales tax revenues to be 15% to 18% less than what was estimated for the 2020 budget.

“(Department heads) are aware of how tight it’s going to be. They stepped up to the plate and did their budgets accordingly,” McLaughlin said. “Some did have to agree to additional cuts, and they agreed to them without argument. They know we are trying to do our best to keep our taxes down. It’s a tough year. Not just for the town, but for the residents.”

McLaughlin said the tentative budget is $29,000 under the state’s tax cap. He said it’s the fifth year in a row the town has managed to keep the town’s tax levy under the state’s tax cap.

The board scheduled the public hearing on the budget to be held at 6:15 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, at the Ellicott Town Office Building, located at 215 S. Work St., Falconer. Depending on what happens between now and after the public hearing, the board could approved the 2021 budget during their regular meeting that night. McLaughlin said the board has a Nov. 5 deadline to pass next year’s budget.

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