Proposed 2023 budgets for the city and town of Plattsburgh submitted for review
The supervisor of the town of Plattsburgh and the mayor of the city of Plattsburgh have released their proposed 2023 budgets. Both remain under New York’s tax cap.
First-term Plattsburgh Mayor Chris Rosenquest has submitted his second budget to the city council for consideration. The 2023 general fund budget proposal is about $59 million, and the Democrat says he worked with all department heads to bridge a $2 million deficit.
“Honestly you just go department by department. Everybody, you know, at the end of the day they’ve got to make sacrifices without diminishing the services that we provide," said Rosenquest. "And on some cases it was going back to multiple departments and saying ‘look I need $30,000 out of your budget. Where are we going to find it?’ And we did it. And a lot of that is attributed to the experts that we hired, the department heads that we depend on running our city, running these budgets and managing their departments and the services that they provide.”
The mayor is required to deliver a proposed budget to the city council in early October. A public hearing must be held within 28 days of its submission and then the Common Council can make changes. If the council does not approve a new budget by January 15th the mayor’s proposed budget goes into effect.
Rosenquest says the fiscally balanced proposal includes a 1.6 percent increase in general fund expenditures and a 5.9 percent increase in revenues. It is within the state-mandated tax cap rate of 2.04 percent and anticipates a tax rate decrease to $10.86 from $11.37 per $1,000 of assessed value and an increase to the tax levy of $237,000.
“I’m happy with the budget. I really am. I think that over the last two years we’ve been able to do a lot of cleaning up of operational concerns, operational deficiencies and focus on what the next two years of the city of Plattsburgh are going to look like," the Mayor declares. "And this budget does reflect the next two years as being transformational for the city of Plattsburgh. Transformational for our parks, recreation, transportation, access to streets and accessibility, the beach improvements, road and infrastructure improvements, and a lot of planning and development for housing we’ll also see in the next couple of years. So I’m very excited about this.”
In the Town of Plattsburgh, Supervisor Michael Cashman works with department heads and the finance manager on a tentative budget that is then issued to the Town Board. Work sessions to develop a preliminary budget follow before it’s presented to the taxpayers.
The town’s proposed 2023 budget is approximately $15.8 million, up about $720,000 from the current fiscal year.
Cashman, a Democrat, says the town takes a very conservative spending approach.
“The tax levy decreased by about 7.5 percent from 2022. And the levy includes the town’s highway funds, water, sewer department, water district, consolidated districts including ambulance, lighting, sewer, water, etc.," reported Cashman. "And the town could have raised its levy by 4.42 percent and still have remained under the tax cap. But we remain committed to conservative values and strong fiscal health and not going after every penny that we can, but by setting forward priorities. And we’re able to achieve a lot with that.”
One difference between the two Plattsburghs is that the town has no general property tax. Cashman explains that the bulk of town budgeting is based on sales tax allocations.
“The town will once again use its projected amount of about $3.75 million, our share from the Clinton County sales tax revenue, to reduce the general and the highway. And the General Fund will receive about $2.62 million which is approximately $187,000 less than last year. But the town will again not have a general fund tax levy.”
Both the city and town are holding public hearings on their proposed budgets on November 3rd, at the Town Hall at 6:05 p.m. and City Hall at 5 p.m.