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Norfolk finalizes 2014 budget

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NORFOLK - Norfolk residents will be seeing a slight tax rate increase on the local portion of their January tax bills after council members finalized a $2 million spending plan Thursday evening.

The 2013 tax rate was $4.53 per $1,000 of assessed value, while next year’s total will bump up to $4.69 per $1,000.

The tax levy for the general fund, highway and library accounts will be $634,488, up from last year’s amount of $612,285.

Due to a portion of the village of neighboring Norwood being located in Norfolk, the budget consists of four major funds - General A, General B, Highway A and Highway B.

Town Supervisor Charles A. Pernice said that the village portion of the budget is not included in the town-wide portion, but the two are added together to get the total amount.

Town Budget Officer William E. Dashnaw was in attendance for the final step of the budget approval and said that he plans to file the tax cap Friday morning.

“As it stands right now, I don’t see any need here, based on the budget we have, to exceed the tax cap,” he said.

Mr. Dashnaw added that with the budget finalized, now the group can look into setting up a reserve fund.

“Going forward, what you will get as we get a little closer to the end of the year, we’ll give you a full account of fund balances. We do really want to talk about reserves towards the end of the year,” Mr. Dashnaw said. “If there’s any opportunities to set up a reserve, we will do it prior to Dec. 31.”

The budget amounts to $2,026,947, with the two largest portions coming from the town-wide general fund ($723,275) and the town-wide highway fund ($486,200.)

The tax rates for those funds are $1.9451 and $1.9399 respectively.

The town-wide taxable assessed valuation is $135,501.760 and the total for outside the village is $133,728.609.

The Norfolk Fire District stands at $197,054. Nearly half of the amount will come from personal services and bond payment line items.

Next year will see a 15 percent increase in health insurance costs, but also a decrease in retirement costs. Town employees across the board will get a 2 percent pay raise after the board had instituted a wage freeze in 2013.

Pay for town officials is $13,464 for the town supervisor; $17,035 for councilmen; $19,300 - two at $9,650 each - for town justices; $19,000 for the assessor; $27,183 for the town clerk; $7,500 for the attorney; and $49,715 for the highway superintendent.

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