Also, tonight at the start of the Town Board meeting is a Public Hearing on the 2009 Preliminary Budget. A few changes have been made to the budget since the 2009 Tentative Budget was made available in October. The $155,000 for the new roof at the Rec Center was cut out. Instead, they will probably just sell another Bond Anticipation Note to pay for that. The paving was lowered from $400,000 to $200,000, but the Highway expense doesn't impact the tax rate.
However, it is interesting to note that the tax rate was lowered from the projected $2.53 per thousand first reported to $2.19 per thousand of assessed value for the Preliminary Budget. Funny thing is the total budget is actually more now than it was for the Tentative Budget that was available in October. How did they raise the total budget and lower the tax rate? They merely used more of the fund balance to offset the expenses.
Tentative Budget Summary Sheet released in October 2008:So they really didn't cut any expenses; if necessary they will just use more "unrestricted funds", i.e. cash on hand, money left over from previous budgets, money market accounts, and Fees in Lieu of Mitigation monies.
$14,791,740 Tax Rate $ 2.53
Preliminary Budget Summary Sheet released in November 2008:
$14,965,503 Tax Rate $ 2.19
Viola! Total total budget is up...tax rate is down!
Here is a copy of the 2009 Preliminary Budget to be discussed tonight.
We also FOILed a copy of the 2007 Audited Financial Statement. Another year of an adverse opinion. But not to worry, corrective action was taken at the August 13, 2008 town board meeting. The town board, upon the advice of Frank Basile, voted to retain Industrial Appraisal Services for $8,655 and Armory Associates, LLC for $6,500 to bring the Town in Compliance with GASB 34 and 45. That along with yearly updates at an additional cost, plus the $100,000+ that the town pays Frank Basile should make for an unqualified opinion for the 2008 Audited Financial Statement.
How do they do it?