Frustrated residents stepped up to the microphone to voice anger over rising taxes and urge Town Board members to postpone voting on a measure to override the property tax cap.
VICTOR — For more than an hour Tuesday Victor residents gave their local officials an angry earful about a proposed tax hike that could double property tax rates.
Frustrated residents stepped up to the microphone to urge Town Board members to postpone voting on a measure to override the property tax cap. Others voiced their shock about how this could have happened.
Victor residents have enjoyed the lowest tax rates in Ontario and Monroe counties for several years, said Supervisor Jack Marren. The economy is forcing the town to increase the town tax rate to more than $1 for the first time in 12 years.
In 2017, the town’s tax rate could jump from its current $0.76 per $1,000 taxable value to between $1.45 and $1.65 per $1,000 of taxable value.
Contributing factors include rising pension and health care costs and the minimum wage increase. Also sales tax and mortgage tax — both big revenue sources for the town — fell short of forecasts, Marren said.
But most of the blame, he said, goes to an oversight by the accounting firm that audits town finances each year — the Bonadio Group.
"I will take that responsibility," said Marren. "I probably should have walked over there and asked what is our level of fund balance."
In a statement released earlier Tuesday, the Bonadio Group said it stands behind the audit opinion it issued and the work performed by the firm.
"We have never been engaged by the town to assess, or assist in, the budgeting process, and therefore have not provided the town any recommendations in that area," the statement said.
The expected increase impacts only the town tax portion of a resident’s total tax bill, or 6.2 percent, Marren said. So the impact could mean a jump from $47.43 in 2016 town taxes to $89.90 or $102.30 in 2017 town taxes on a home valued at $62,000. On a home valued at $255,000, the jump would be from $195.07 in 2016 to $369.75 or $420.75 in 2017.
The board scheduled a public hearing Tuesday, Oct. 24, to discuss the 2017 budget.
— Includes reporting by Daily Messenger news partner, News 10NBC