At today's public hearing on the proposed budget for 2021, no one from the public had a word to say, and the hearing was over in seven minutes.
At the Common Council Finance Committee meeting, which happened a half hour after the public hearing on the budget, Alderman Jane Trombley (First Ward) asked, during the banter that took place while waiting for city treasurer Heather Campbell to join the meeting, "How come there was no comment?" Council president Tom DePietro responded wryly, "Because the budget was perfectly crafted."
When Campbell presented her monthly report, it revealed that revenue from sales tax was almost where it was at this time last year, but the tax that saw that biggest revenue shortfall was the lodging tax. Nevertheless, at the regular meeting of the Council, which followed an hour and a half later, the resolution to enact the law regulating short term rentals passed unanimously. Campbell's projections see a shortfall in revenue for 2020 of between $1.2 and $1.7 million, which will have to be made up by drawing on the fund balance. On Thursday, the Council will be voting on the 2021 budget, which will be balanced with a half million taken from the fund balance. In September, Campbell reported that the fund balance was currently $2,748,452.
Two things of interest were revealed during the Finance Committee meeting. According to a report issued by city assessor Cheryl Kaszluga, 27.89 percent of the property in Hudson is exempt from city property taxes. This is considerably less than many believe to be the case. Also, although the need to put quarters in the parking meters was suspended, for no particular reason, from mid-March until the end of May, the tradition of suspending parking meter fees during the month of December, to encourage holiday shopping in Hudson, will not happen this year.
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