Town Officials Approve 2021 Fiscal Budget

Penfield Town Supervisor Tony LaFountain and the Penfield Town Board adopted the 2021 Final Budget at the October 21 legislative meeting. The Final Budget, including special districts, totals $20,632,799, a decrease of $38,593. The Town Operating Budget without special districts is $17,768,407. The Town share of the tax levy increased $20,377, and is below the tax cap by $475,000.

The tax rate for 2021 will be the same as 2020 at $2.78 per $1,000 of assessed property value. Penfield’s property tax rate remains one of the lowest of the 19 towns in in Monroe County. Town taxes account for approximately 8 cents of every dollar, county taxes are 24 cents and the school taxes are 68 cents. The average tax bill for Penfield governmental services in 2021 will be $569.90 per household; this represents a house valued at $205,000.

As in previous years, expenditures not under the Town of Penfield’s control continued to increase including health insurance premiums and continued contributions to the New York State retirement system of approximately 11 to 22 percent of payroll. The cost of workers compensation will remain flat at nearly six percent of payroll. 

”The budget for 2021 has presented several challenges for every community as we work through the effects of the pandemic and the financial impacts it has presented in 2020 that will continue well into 2021,” said Supervisor Tony LaFountain. “With the loss in revenue from sales tax, recreation programs and county projects, the Town Board wanted to make sure we were not overburdening our residents who were also impacted by COVID-19; therefore, the 2021 budget has no tax increase. The efforts of our staff and board to tighten the belt on spending will continue our long history of very sound spending, even in difficult times.”  

Penfield’s growth rate was just over one percent in 2020, resulting in a positive impact of actual new “bricks and mortar” properties and therefore more contributors to the tax levy. 

With its history of fiscal discipline, the financial world consistently recognizes Penfield as one of the most financially responsible towns in New York State. Moody’s Investors Service continues its Aa1 credit rating of Penfield—one of the highest in the county and state. This rating allows Penfield to secure low-interest financing for capital projects (sewers, roadways, bridges), and assists with cash flow throughout the year. The Moody’s rating also reflects Penfield’s history of stable financial operations and strong management practices.

Further, the Town of Penfield continues to receive a respected “no designation” in New York State’s Fiscal Monitoring system. With a low score of just 1.7 again in 2019 the Town of Penfield is once again well below the 44.9 percent tolerance point that New York State deems to be an indicator of possible fiscal stress. Factors included in the NYS’s review include cash ratio, employee salaries, debt burden, and fund balance.

“We have another fiscally sound budget adopted by the Town Board for 2021,” stated Town Comptroller Barbara Chirdo. “The Town’s levy increase for 2021 is again below the levy cap established by the State Comptroller. And, with ‘no designation’ in regard to susceptibility to financial stress, I am proud to say the Town’s financial health is well below any level of risk as determined by the Office of the State Comptroller.”

The 2021 Adopted Budget is available electronically on this website, while print copies are available at the Penfield Public Library, 1985 Baird Road, or by contacting the Office of the Comptroller in the Penfield Town Hall, 3100 Atlantic Avenue, in Penfield.