HARRISON, N.Y. -- Harrison's proposed budget for 2014 has grown due to a decrease in assessment values and increases in insurance premiums.
The budget proposed in November called for a tax rate increase of 3.854 percent, and now stands at 4.13 percent. Harrison will remain under the state tax levy cap of 1.66 percent, according to Comptroller Maureen MacKenzie.
The main reason for the increase was due to the drop in Harrison's assessed valuation, which fell from $136,239,708 to $135,603,693, a decrease of $693,015, according to MacKenzie.
"That's due to certiarites and small claims that were ordered by the courts that we had to do prior to the year end to reduce the assessment roll," MacKenzie said.
There were several increases in insurance premium costs than were originally budgeted for. The insurance premiums for law enforcement increased by $25,000, the premiums for library employees increased $4,100 and the premiums for village employees increased $55,000. Some of those increases were offset by decreases in other areas of the budget such as debt services, which was decreased by $55,000. MacKenzie said that the reason the insurance premiums are so high is because the liability insurance quotes came in about $100,000 more than expected.
The increase in the tax rate means that a house assessed at $600,000 will be paying about $136 more in taxes per year, Mackenzie said. The village will be $27,498 under the tax levy cap and the town will be $46,620 under the cap.
Other changes in the budget include a $1,217 increase in salary to the two village justices and increases of $1,943 to the village clerk and receiver of taxes. MacKenzie said that these positions have not received raises in two years. Police equipment has also increased $15,000 from $130,000 to $145,000, and street lighting money has increased from $13,000 to $15,000.
Harrison has also received $120,000 through a settlement with Cablevision, which will be put into the general fund and used for beautification purposes.
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