FORT ANN — The Town Board passed its approximately $2 million 2020 draft budget on Monday, which will head to a public hearing next month before getting adopted.
Taxes will go up for most residents, although how much will vary depending on whether you live in a special district. Overall, the tax levy increase is $66,777, just $144 under the state-imposed tax cap.
The total budget is rolling in at $2,064,036, and the amount to be raised by taxes is $1,431,898, not including special districts.
Not much has changed from 2019, but the budget proved to be particularly tricky this year, said town Supervisor Richard Moore, because 2019 revenues did not reach projections.
The town’s fine and forfeiture revenue, which come from things like speeding tickets and bail money, was significantly lower. Also lower was the town’s collection of mortgage tax, which varies depending on how many people buy new homes or refinance.
“It’s difficult,” Moore said. “You use past history.”
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The budget is balanced using $240,000 of the town’s fund balance, which is like its savings account. That’s $40,000 less than the town used last year, which Moore was glad about, but he would like the budget to rely on that pot of funds even less.
Budgets for the town’s three fire districts did not change. The amount to be raised by taxes for Fort Ann Fire’s budget is $204,390, for Pilot Knob’s budget is $98,250 and West Fort Ann’s budget is $249,434.
The budget for the town’s Hadlock Park District dropped from $270,686 to $220,248. Moore said that was partly because the town didn’t receive any bids for hand-harvesting or suction-harvesting of milfoil on Hadlock Pond.
The amount to be raised by taxes in the Hadlock Park District is $187,748.
Most town employees are getting raises, too. The supervisor’s salary is going from $13,492 to $15,000. Council members’ salaries are going from $3,090 to $3,150.
The town clerk will get an approximately 2% raise and the town highway superintendent will get an approximately 7% raise.
The public hearing on the budget is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7 at the Town Hall. The budget will likely be adopted at the Town Board’s meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12. Copies of the preliminary budget are available for viewing at the Town Hall.