Port Chester residents, if you’re curious about where your village property taxes go, have a good look at the new 2013-14 Tentative Budget.
This is no ordinary Tentative Budget. This is a reader-friendly tour of municipal finance, complete with colorful charts and clearly written text, by Village Manager Christopher Steers.
In contrast to most municipal budgets, you can see a breakdown of goals, services and salaries in each department, read about state pension reform and track unemployment trends. You can see how much revenue could be added by boosting parking meter fees by a quarter an hour, or by charging to park until 8 p.m. instead of 7 p.m.
And you can judge for yourself whether property taxes should increase by 4.26 percent, as proposed in the plan. The final section offers the village board a number of alternatives for raising revenue through fees.
The $36 million budget stays within the state tax cap, after exemptions for pension costs and other expenses. It raises spending by 3 percent.
Village tax bills account for about one-quarter of a property tax bill in Port Chester. School taxes account for 58 percent.
Mayor-elect Neil Pagano plans to set a workshop on the budget after he is sworn in Tuesday night along with the rest of the village board. In the meantime, let us know what you think of the budget.