Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Lancaster 2021 tentative budget an embarrassment

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    6,854

    Lancaster 2021 tentative budget an embarrassment

    The Buffalo News published a report today listing six towns where spending, tax levy increase, tax rate increase, and estimated tax liability based on assessed property valuation was reviewed.

    Towns raise taxes, cut spending as Covid-19 batters budgets

    https://buffalonews.com/news/local/t...=home-trending

    Lancaster was not included in the group reviewed. Why? Because it is lacking in transparency, incomplete, inaccurate, and outright confounding. The filed 2021 Lancaster tentative budget is scheduled for a public hearing on October 19th. It is an embarrassment!

    Lancaster’s filed 2021 tentative budget:

    Spending

    Cuts spending by $907,985 from last year’s budget.

    Revenues

    Estimated revenues down by $1,030,374

    Use of Fund Balance & Reserves

    $353,000

    Tax levy (Amount to be raised by Taxation

    $25,342,199 – an increase of $1,572,235 from 2020 budget

    What is missing

    Tax rate schedule and estimate of tax liability based on assessed property valuation.

    Debt Service Schedule

    Department budgetary line items

    What is confounding

    There is a total of $11.33 million in Fund Balance & Reserve. The budget lists $353,000 in total Fund Balance & Reserve used to balance the budget. On page two of the budget, under Summary of Revenues by Category, $3.42 million is listed as Appropriated Fund Balance & Reserves used.

    Which number is correct as the use impacts the tax levy, which in turn impacts tax rate and tax liability?

    There are other irregularities and inaccuracies as well. This is the budget the town wants to present to the public for review; seriously? It is an embarrassment.

  2. #2
    Member mark blazejewski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    3,744
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Chowaniec View Post

    There are other irregularities and inaccuracies as well. This is the budget the town wants to present to the public for review; seriously? It is an embarrassment.
    Perhaps Clarence previously had similar budget deficiencies?
    Ruffino's definition of transparency?: "Basically, I have three votes."

  3. #3
    Member mark blazejewski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    3,744
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Chowaniec View Post

    What is confounding

    There is a total of $11.33 million in Fund Balance & Reserve. The budget lists $353,000 in total Fund Balance & Reserve used to balance the budget. On page two of the budget, under Summary of Revenues by Category, $3.42 million is listed as Appropriated Fund Balance & Reserves used.

    Which number is correct as the use impacts the tax levy, which in turn impacts tax rate and tax liability?

    There are other irregularities and inaccuracies as well. This is the budget the town wants to present to the public for review; seriously? It is an embarrassment.

    "Speaking for myself, I have been the most fiscally conservative, experienced and qualified Town of Lancaster Supervisor candidate and have shown that every day since being elected to the Town Council." ---Ruffino letter to Conservative voters, June, 2019

    Seriously?
    Ruffino's definition of transparency?: "Basically, I have three votes."

  4. #4
    Member gorja's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Lancaster, NY
    Posts
    12,271
    After combing through the tentative budget, this is my interpretation.


    This is how I arrived at that Guesstimate




    Have a GREAT day,
    Georgia Schlager

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    6,854
    Kudos Gorga for the time and effort you put in to come up with ‘Guesstimate’ tax rate and tax liability statement. Perhaps the Supervisor and new Budget Director should contact you for assistance.

    If your numbers are correct, based on tentative budget numbers that IMHO are suspect, the ‘Guesstimate’ tax bill on property assessed at $100,000 indicates my town tax bill will increase by $228. It would have increased by $305 had I not grieved my assessment and had it lowered. My total tax increase (Town, County, School) exceeds my Social Security increase this year by 50%.

    All those numbers in red indicating decreases look nice but have no bearing in a year of property reassessment. The bottom line is the tax liability amount. If your numbers are correct, my tax bill increases by 16.6%.

    Perhaps you can explain the disparity in budget Unreserved & Reserved Fund Balance use. On page one of the tentative budget it lists $353,000 as being used to balance the budget. On page 2, $3.41 million is listed as used to balance the budget.

    Or, on page 67, Schedule of Salaries, it lists the Supervisor receiving $5,000 as Budget Officer. However, there is no such line item in his Department budget request. How is that possible?

    And there are many other items that bear questioning. When I brought some of these budget inconsistencies to light at Monday evening’s Town Board meeting, the Supervisor and Budget Director agreed and declared changes need to be made. Until such changes are made, the budget proposed is incomplete, incorrect, and not credible - ‘embarrassing’!

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    6,854
    What is particularly dismaying is that the tentative budget was posted on the town website on October 1st, and in this 11-day span there have been only 109 budget downloads – many of those repeats by some interested in reviewing the budget for comparative purposes to past budgets – the proposed budget so poorly presented.

    Dismaying but understandable considering there has not been one drop of media ink spent on the budget: presenting / analyzing budget data in preparation for the October 19 public hearing.

    As I do not have a Facebook account, I hope this confounding budget is getting some play in the social media. I can’t believe that in a municipality with 45,000 residents there are but a few people who give a **** as to what their 2021 town tax liability is going to be - and how that was determined.

  7. #7
    Member mark blazejewski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    3,744
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Chowaniec View Post
    I can’t believe that in a municipality with 45,000 residents there are but a few people who give a **** as to what their 2021 town tax liability is going to be - and how that was determined.


    Perhaps this resident who claims to possess the skills to lead Lancaster into the future can clear things up for all of us?

    Also, since Mr. Wozniak purportedly shares the same ideology as, and is supported by, Supervisor Ruffino, should he not have some special insights into the budget's preparation and presentation?

    Come on Mr. Wozniak, as a public service, will you not educate us now, before Election Day?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by mark blazejewski; October 12th, 2020 at 10:34 AM.
    Ruffino's definition of transparency?: "Basically, I have three votes."

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Town of Lancaster, 2021 Tentative Budget
    By mark blazejewski in forum Village of Lancaster and Town of Lancaster Politics
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: October 2nd, 2020, 02:32 PM
  2. 2018 Lancaster Tentative Budget
    By Lee Chowaniec in forum Village of Lancaster and Town of Lancaster Politics
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: October 16th, 2017, 05:23 AM
  3. Tax cap and 2012 Lancaster tentative budget
    By Lee Chowaniec in forum Village of Lancaster and Town of Lancaster Politics
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: October 6th, 2011, 03:50 PM
  4. 2010 tentative Lancaster Budget
    By speakup in forum Village of Lancaster and Town of Lancaster Politics
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: October 8th, 2009, 03:46 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •