Tupper Lake village board passes budget under tax cap

Paul Maroun is mayor of the village of Tupper Lake and a Franklin County legislator. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

TUPPER LAKE — This village passed its $3 million budget for 2019-20 last week, with no numerical changes from the proposed budget that was released last month.

The budget stays below the 2% tax cap by $58, raising the tax levy by 1.976%, the tax rate by 1.78% and spending by 2.79%. This budget spends $83,016.09 more than last year and totals $3,048,070.26.

However, $50,000 of that $83,000 increase comes directly from a state grant for Little League baseball field construction at Little Logger Park.

The tax rate increase means there will be a 25.3 cent increase per $1,000 in assessed value. For example, the owner of a $100,000 home will pay $25.30 more over the course of a year.

Village Mayor Paul Maroun said all village departments got 3% raises except police, which is still negotiating.

Maroun said the state’s tax cap is not sustainable. The state legislature and governor agreed this year to make the cap permanent. It limits annual local government tax levy increases to 2% or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower.

“Everybody has to understand this: We will not be able forever to stay under this permanent 2% tax cap,” Maroun said. “(It) is absolutely impossible for any government in today’s standard of living.”

Maroun said he will try to keep the annual budget under the cap as long as possible but said he would be surprised if it will be able to do that three years from now. He said the costs of everything the village pays for — from gas to insurance — are rising at rates higher than 2%, and that state mandates make projects more expensive.