Town’s tax levy remains unchanged
By Robert Cloud
Dayton electors approved a $565,944 tax levy Monday, Nov. 30.
The town’s 2016 levy is identical to its 2015 levy.
Dayton property owners will see an estimated tax rate of $1.53 per $1,000 of assessed value.
Dayton’s total 2016 revenues are budgeted at $891,246 to cover expenses of $825,100.
In addition to local property taxes, Dayton expects to receive $282,502 from the state, $32,000 from licenses and permits, $600 in service fees and $10,200 in miscellaneous revenues.
Dayton will spend $485,650 for public works, which includes transportation, maintenance and mowing of the abandoned landfill, recycling and garbage collection.
General government expenses are budgeted at $152,000, which includes board salaries and expenses, clerk and treasurer salaries and expenses, assessor expenses and the town hall.
The town has also budgeted $126,000 for building inspections, water patrol, fire and ambulance services.
Town Chairman Dave Armstrong said Dayton is expected to show a $99,345 budget surplus for 2015 and a $67,646 budget surplus for 2016.
Initially, Dayton was budgeted to have a $235,428 deficit in 2015. However, public works projects cost $320,000 less than originally expected and general government costs were $20,000 less than in the budget.
Dayton is expected to have a fund balance of more than $1 million at the end of 2016.
Armstrong said the town is setting aside funds for an aggressive five-year road maintenance plan.
The 2016 budget includes $461,500 for transportation. Of that amount, $230,000 is being set aside for the first year of the five-year plan.
At last year’s budget meeting, electors approved a $940,000 transportaton budget. They also voted for a motion, introduced by Armstrong, to cut $345,000 from the $1.285 million transportation budget originally proposed by Chris Klein, who was then town chairman.
At this year’s meeting, Klein made a motion to lower the town’s tax levy to $500,000.
Klein argued that the town could afford to cut its levy by $65,000 because the reserve fund was more than $1 million.
Supervisor John Miller responded that state law sets limits on how much the town may raise its levy each year. He noted that the town can control its spending, but has little control over how much it can raise taxes over the prior year’s levy.
Miller said it would take years before Dayton could recover what it lost by dropping its levy.
Klein’s motion failed because nobody at the meeting seconded it.