Pleasantville property owners will see a 1.91 percent tax rate increase in the next fiscal year after the Village Board last Monday approved the $16.8 million budget for 2020-21.
Village Administrator Eric Morrissey said the average homeowner can expect about an $80 tax increase. For the current fiscal year, which ends May 31, the tax rate hike was 2.23 percent.
“We had to scale back the increase because of the unexpected impacts of COVID-19,” said Morrissey.
The pandemic has added considerable uncertainty to county and town budgets throughout the state. Since the proposed tentative budget was unveiled several weeks ago, Pleasantville reduced it’s expected revenue from the county sales tax from $1.2 million to $800,000.
“The sales tax is a big question mark and we are trying to grapple with that,” Morrissey said. “Now we are ratcheting that back and moving very conservatively on our expectations.”
The projected village fund balance remains strong at roughly $4.6 million, according to Morrissey. The fund balance should help the village navigate the challenges ahead, he said.
Cuts that enabled the village to keep the tax rate low were seen in travel, conference training and supplies, saving about $170,000. There have been no personnel cuts except for programs that have not been running because of the shutdown, such as part-time workers for the Panther Club, an afterschool program.
Other programs that bring in revenue and are at least budget-neutral are the village’s summer camp and the Pleasantville Music Festival. The festival was canceled earlier this month but it’s unclear if there will be a summer camp.
Another unknown is revenue from the village parking meters. The village waived all fees for downtown parking meters starting in March, and that will remain in effect until at least May 15. The board expects to revisit the issue at its next meeting on May 11.
For residents and businesses impacted by COVID-19, the board voted to shift the start of the 12-month parking permit period from June 1 to July 1. The current year’s permits will remain valid through June 30. Current and future parking permit holders have until July 1 to request a permit.
“Hopefully by June, people will have more clarity about their commuting situation,” Morrissey said.
Parking revenue in the adopted budget is $413,000, with $180,000 projected from parking permit fees, $200,000 from parking meters and $33,000 from E-Z Park Cards.