CHEMUNG — Due to a lack of tax revenue and a new mandate from the state, the Town of Chemung is facing a budget shortfall and will be forced to raise taxes in 2021, according to a press release from Supervisor George Richter.

The budget, which is now open for public review, includes a $100,000 shortfall in anticipated revenues, according to Richter.

“At this point in time, Chemung is nearly $100,000 short on its 2020 anticipated revenues,” Richter said in a press release. “Most of the shortfall is attributed to the long-term state mandated closure of our court, and a large shortfall in sales tax revenue. All of this has been brought on by the reactions to COVID over the past many months.”

For 2021, the town has budgeted to reduce total spending by around $140,000, according to Richter.

“But, this will not solve all of our concerns. We cannot be certain when, or if, our economics will return to pre-COVID conditions,” Richter said.

“Additionally, Chemung County is planning to reduce our local share of sales tax revenue in the near future. This reduction on top of the already diminished sales tax receipts makes that situation even worse,” he continued.

Due to the current circumstances, the town will be raising the property tax rate for 2021.

“We still see the need to stabilize the local property tax as much as possible — therefore the $140,000 reduction of spending on equipment for 2021. All of this leads to an anticipated property tax rate increase of 9.4% for 2021,” Richter said.

The new rate will be $2.27 per thousand of assessed value, which is up from this year’s rate of $2.07 per thousand, according to the press release.

“All this will equate to around a $20 per increase in the local property tax on a property currently assessed at $100,000. Our more long term goal will be to reduce that rate in future budgets,” Richter said.

The budget is available at the Town Clerk’s office — and a public hearing on the matter is scheduled for November 11, 2020 at 7 p.m.

Pat McDonald can be reached at (570) 888-9643 ext. 228 or editor@morning-times.com. Follow Managing Editor Pat McDonald on Twitter @PatMcDonaldMT.

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