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Thursday, 17 November 2011 18:01

Town Board Grapples Over 2% Tax Cap

Written by  D. R. Darrah
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Fund Balance to Support Raises and Cost Increases

After three budget workshops and a public hearing, the Willsboro Town Board is struggling to complete a final budget. 

Those in attendacne at the public hearing voiced their concerns on the accuracy of the figures being presented.The worksheets handed-out at the hearing were the same as the those from the workshops. There had been no adjustments, corrections or updates. The budget officer and the town board had been working to keep any increases below the state's new 2% cap on amounts to be raised by taxes but the group expressed their concern that the information being presented to the public (tax payers) was both confusing and inaccurate. Data was missing, figures in the wrong location or updates from the previous workshops were never entered in the worksheets. Frustration continued with the fact that any questions pertaining to specific figures could not be answered by the board members in attendance or by the deputy supervisor (Steve Benway). The budget officer (Supervisor Hatch) or the account clerk were not present at the hearing.

Proposed spending increases are attributed to a 30% jump in medical insurance, a 1% salary increase for all elected officials with the exception of the supervisor who is up for a flat $5,000 increase. The newly negotiated DPW union contract gives workers a salary increase of 1% and the fire district has overriden the 2% cap and has asked for an additional $33,000 to repair an insulation issue at the firestation. The estimated $86,000 shortfall would be made up from the town's fund balance.

At the close of the public hearing, the board assured those in attendance that a corrected and accurate copy of the proposed budget would be available with in a day or two.

Last modified on Thursday, 29 December 2011 22:47
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