The 2013 Moriah town budget holds the line on property taxes for most residents. It also meets the state’s 2 percent tax cap. So, Supervisor Tom Scozzafava is happy, right?
Port Henry The 2013 Moriah town budget holds the line on property taxes for most residents. It also meets the state’s 2 percent tax cap. So, Supervisor Tom Scozzafava is happy, right?
“Absolutely not,” he said. “We need equipment; we have trucks that are 12 years old that should be replaced. We have to address Bulwagga Bay campsite; we’re losing our beach there. We need so much and the tax cap just won’t allow us to address these issues.”
The 2013 Moriah budget totals $4,084,129. That’s a decrease of $12,315 from the present budget of $4,096,444.
The 2013 tax levy will be $2,027,020. That’s an increase of $48,714 from the current tax levy of $1,978,306. Exempting fire district spending, which is set by district commissioners and not the town, that’s a tax increase of 1.9 percent.
The 2013 tax rate for residents living outside the village of Port Henry will be $7.95 per $1,000 of assessed value. That’s the same as 2012. The tax rate for residents in the village of Port Henry will be $6.72, an increase from the 2012 rate of $6.50.
The 2 percent state tax cap really straps a town, Scozzafava said.
The cap allowed Moriah to increase taxes by about $50,000, which includes some unused money from 2012. Yet employee health insurance costs in 2012 will increase $40,000 and employee retirement costs will go up $15,000.
“That’s it, health insurance and retirement put us over the tax cap and we haven’t even discussed anything else,” Scozzafava said.
To get back under the cap Moriah made cuts totalling $94,000 in contingency spending, contributions to the local ambulance squad, wages, worker compensation and other items.
The town board also negotiated a $15,000 contribution from Hudson Headwaters Health Network for maintenence of the town-owned health center and decided to raise trash disposal fees to generate another $40,000.