The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Local News

January 11, 2013

Snow plow costs eyed

Medina Journal-Register — SHELBY — The committee examining potential shared services between Medina, Shelby and Ridgeway now has clearer information about a cost-shift that would impact tax rates for residents of all three municipalities.

At Monday’s gathering of elected officials, Shelby Supervisor Skip Draper explained the financial impact of recalculating how the costs for town snowplowing services are charged to village and non-village residents. Specifically, he was tasked with examining what would happen if village residents were not charged for the plowing of non-village streets.

According to Draper, Shelby’s snowplowing service had a net cost of $123,000 in 2012, an expense that is levied to taxpayers through both the town-wide and town-outside-of-the-village tax rates (the cost is split the same way in Ridgeway).

If that expense was levied only on residents who pay into the town-outside-of-the-village fund, taxpayers who live in the town and the village would see their town tax rate decrease by $0.60, while residents of only the town would pay $0.91 more per $1,000 in assessed value.

In Ridgeway, villagers would see a $1.23 reduction in their town tax rate; while residents of the town outside the village would see their rate increase by $0.90. The larger shift is due to Ridgeway’s annual contribution to a reserve fund used to purchase new snow removal equipment.

Village Mayor Andrew Meier said the reducing the total tax rate paid by villagers for snowplowing — village residents also fund the village’s snowplowing operation — would address what he described as a “fundamental unfairness.”

”This would remove a double tax that would go a long way for village residents, who pay for a service they don’t receive,” Meier said. “Reducing villagers’ town tax rates by $1.23 or $0.60 would be a huge decrease without changing any services.”

Draper noted that the cost-shift is much smaller when compared to the overall total tax paid by residents of the towns and the village. It also would not eliminate the cost.

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