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Michael T. Baldwin Reports: Village of Wellsville Facing Tax Increase

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Taxpayers in the village of Wellsville are staring at a 1.5% tax increase in the proposed budget that takes effect June 1st. By the numbers, that’s a hike of 26-cents per thousand. Overall spending in the General Fund is projected at $3,512,260.39.

This is the first budget for new Village Treasurer Melissa Mullen who said “this year was a challenge.” She said the village “took a hit on revenues.” For example, last year parking revenue was around $66,000, but in the current fiscal year-to-date, revenue has only been $18,000. Mullen said COVID played a huge role in lost revenues, noting that at the height of the pandemic, when most businesses were closed or limited, there were few vehicles parking downtown. Mullen also said pension costs “skyrocketed.” In the police department alone, those costs rose from $175,000 to $240,000. Total village retirement costs have climbed to $349,000.

The fire department budget also increased to $267,800. Mullen said the Department had a “forward-thinking” approach. The volunteer department has some known equipment replacement costs in the future and is trying to set aside additional money now to manage the eventual impact.

During the budget process, village trustees agree to offset expenses by utilizing $40,000 from contingency (sometimes called the “rainy day” account). Mullen said this amount has been pretty consistent over recent years.

The village board has scheduled a public hearing on the budget for Monday, April 19th at 6 p.m. at 23 North main Street. The Board tentatively plans to adopt the final spending plan when it meets April 26th.

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