Penfield Supervisor Tony LaFountain and Town Comptroller Barbara Chirdo presented the proposed 2018 Tentative Town Budget to the Penfield Town Board and community on Wednesday, September 6.
The proposed 2018 Tentative Budget, including special districts, is $19.1M. The proposed Town Operating Budget (without special districts) is $16.2M.
As in previous years, expenditures not under the Town of Penfield’s control continue to see double-digit increases. In 2018, this includes an estimated 10 percent increase in health insurance premiums and continued contributions to the NYS retirement system of approximately 15 to 20 percent of payroll. Though the Town was able to mitigate the cost of workers compensation by choosing a new carrier through competitive solicitation, workers compensation represents nearly six percent of payroll.
Estimated revenues will increase due to major funding sources coming in stronger than in recent years. This is an encouraging sign of an improving economy; however, the Town continues to estimate revenue conservatively.
The proposed 2018 town tax rate remains at $2.69 per $1,000 of assessed property value, which is the same as the 2017 rate. At the proposed 2018 rate, a property in Penfield with a valuation of $190,000 will be $511.10 for general governmental services. Once again, the proposed town tax levy increase is below the increase allowed by New York State.
Penfield’s property tax rate remains one of the lowest of the 19 towns in in Monroe County. The town general taxes continue to account for approximately eight percent of each tax dollar. County taxes account for 24 percent, and school taxes account for the remaining 68 percent.
With this Tentative Budget, there will be no cuts to services or programs. New services and programs for youth are coming in 2018 through partnerships with Earthworks Institute and Rochester Parkour. PenRec will also become a satellite location for OSHER, a provider of senior education programs.
“This is the eighth budget I have helped prepare with our comptroller and department heads as town supervisor. I continue to be impressed with their attention to detail and creative ways to maintain services, absorb any unfunded mandates, stay under the state imposed tax cap, and still look for expanded opportunities for shared services publicly and privately,” said Supervisor Tony LaFountain. “We are able to maintain the current tax rate of 2.69 per $1,000 of assessed property value for 2018, giving our residents year-on-year stability of their town taxes without impacting any current services.”
Penfield’s growth rate for 2018 is again among the highest in the county. The positive impact of actual new “bricks and mortar” properties has resulted in an allowable tax base growth factor increase of nearly one percent and therefore more contributors to the tax levy.
With its history of fiscal discipline, the financial world consistently recognizes Penfield as one of the most financially responsible towns in New York State. Moody’s Investors Service continues its Aa1 credit rating of Penfield—one of the highest in the county and state. This rating allows Penfield to secure low-interest financing for capital projects (sewers, roadways, bridges), and assists with cash flow throughout the year. The Moody’s rating also reflects Penfield’s history of stable financial operations and strong management practices.
As of September 7, print copies of the 2018 Tentative Budget are available at the Penfield Public Library, 1985 Baird Road or by contacting the Office of the Comptroller in the Penfield Town Hall, 3100 Atlantic Avenue, in Penfield. The Tentative Budget is also available online at www.penfield.org (go to ‘Quick Links,’ ‘Town Budget’). A public hearing to receive comments on the Preliminary Budget is set for October 4. The Penfield Town Board reviews comments now through October 12.