March 25th, 2019
HORNELL, NY – Hornell Mayor John Buckley presented his 2019-20 city budget to the Common Council and all in attendance Monday night with city residences looking at a 3.84% tax increase over the last fiscal year.
Buckley had forewarned of a harder than usual budget at this month’s Common Council meeting when it was announced that Hornell will receive $2 million less in accessed property tax revenue over the previous year. The city had a total of $269,127,931 in accessed value for 2018-19, with that figure drastically dropping to $267,171,275 for 2019-20’s budget.
The city was prepared for the increase having voted to override the 2% tax cap mandated by the state in March’s regular meeting. Hornell’s tax increases have been held relatively minor in previous years with a 1.58% increase in 2017-18 and a 1.99% increase in the 2018-19 budget.
Actually when broken down the tax hike numbers do not seem so drastic. Last year’s tax rate per thousand of accessed vale was $11.93, with this year coming in slightly more at $12.17. The total amount to be raised by taxes this year is $3,408,157, compared with $3,308,774 in 2018-19.
Total appropriations for this year come in at $13,828,733, which is an almost a $200k increase over last year, and well over 2017-18 with an $800k increase.
One again, Hornell relied heavily on a fund balance reserve to make ends meet by drawing out $338k. The city has previously dipped into that savings in 2018-19 for $358k, and drawing $356K in 2017-18, so dipping into that reserve in nothing new with the problem being that that account is wearing thin.
In regular business the council renewed their sales tax agreement with the City of Corning and Steuben county for an unspecified amount and also appointed John McCumiskey to a position on the Hornell Housing Authority Board.