The Fiscal Year 2024 Budget comes at a time of transition for the Town of Essex, and will be the first budget that does not include the Village of Essex Junction, which made up 41 percent of the total tax base (the City of Essex Junction will continue to contract with the Town for some services). Although the tax levy will decrease in FY24, the smaller tax base means the Town will face a much higher than normal tax rate increase if it is to maintain services. With that in mind, department heads were asked to provide lean, efficient budgets that would allow the Town to maintain operations in the coming year, and to create a stable position from which the Town can build in the future.
The overall budget proposal is $15,454,217. Of that, $10,778,980 would be raised by the tax levy. Conservatively estimating grand list growth at 1 percent, the tax levy would result in a municipal tax rate increase of 21.4 percent, or an increase of $330 on the average home. (Please note that the school district budget makes up approximately 75 percent of a tax bill.)
While the loss of the Essex Junction tax base is the largest driver of the budget and projected tax increase, two other factors are also having a significant impact on costs. The tax rate increase is due primarily to the three following factors:
- The separation of Essex Junction resulted in the loss of 41 percent of the Town’s grand list value; in other words, the Town lost 41 percent of its tax base
- Health insurance rates are increasing by approximately 20 percent
- Inflation has driven up many costs. In its union contracts, the Town refers to the Consumer Price Index for the Northeast Region (CPI-U Northeast), which has increased 7.2 percent from September 2021 to September 2022. In addition to health care, inflation has increased the costs of contractual raises for staff, general supplies, gasoline, heating costs, road salt, and more.
Budget Process and Schedule
The meeting schedule below is subject to change.
|Wednesday, July 27, 2022 at 6:00 pm||Public Forums Re. Budget FY24: Q & A, Comment - Aggregate Comments from July 27th and August 4th, 2022|
|Thursday, August 4, 2022 at 11:30 am||Public Forums Re. Budget FY24: Q & A, Comment - Aggregate Comments from July 27th and August 4th, 2022|
|Friday, November 4, 2022 at 8:00 am||Town Selectboard Budget Day Work Session|
|Monday, November 7, 2022 at 6:30 pm ||Budget Work Session during regular meeting|
|Monday, November 21, 2022 at 6:30 pm||Budget Work Session during regular meeting|
|Monday, December 5, 2022 at 6:30 pm||(tentative) Budget Work Session during regular meeting|
|Wednesday, December 7, 2022 at 11:00 am||Town Coffee Talks with Town Manager Greg Duggan and Finance Director Dan Roy|
|Monday, December 19, 2022 (tentative)||(tentative) Public Hearing|
|Tuesday, January 3, 2023 (tentative)||(tentative) Public Hearing|