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Fulton County sets hearing on tax-cap override

August 12, 2012
By MICHAEL ANICH , The Leader Herald

JOHNSTOWN - The Fulton County Board of Supervisors will conduct a public hearing Monday on overriding the state-mandated 2 percent tax-levy cap due to be imposed on the county's 2013 budget.

The board will meet at 1 p.m. Monday for its regular monthly meeting in the second-floor Supervisor's Chambers of the County Office Building.

Supervisors will conduct three public hearings, including one at 2 p.m. to receive comments on creation of a local law overriding the state-mandated tax-levy limit for the 2013 county budget.

Board Chairman Michael F. Gendron said Friday he was not ready to discuss his position on the tax-cap override, but he's looking forward to hearing comments Monday.

"I'm very interested in what the public feels on this issue," Gendron said.

The board might take action similar to the override it did last year for the 2012 county budget.

Gendron noted the state never offered mandate relief after it established the 2 percent tax cap last year. He said he doesn't believe the county should be "shackled" by a 2 percent cap while assembling a county budget.

The local law the board might approve would give supervisors the option to override the cap. The Board of Supervisors usually doesn't adopt the county budget until the end of the year.

In legislation spearheaded by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in early 2011, the state imposed a 2 percent cap on tax-levy increases for municipalities and school districts.

The cap actually ended up being 3.76 percent for Fulton County, according to the state comptroller's office. Calculations vary by county and are based on various exclusions and allowable budget adjustments involving such factors as payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreements pending in the county.

Fulton County doesn't know its tax-cap limit yet for 2013. Counties are allowed to pass their own laws allowing an override.

The county didn't hold last year's public hearing on the override option until Nov. 28. A short time later, the board adopted a $93 million 2012 county budget that reduced spending by $7 million, but it raised the average property tax rate 5.5 percent thanks to the override legislation.

Other hearings to be conducted Monday will include one at 1:30 p.m. on the tentative Fulton-Montgomery Community College budget and one at 1:45 p.m. on additional property to be included in the county's Agricultural District No. 1.

Michael Anich can be reached at johnstown@leaderherald.com.

 
 

 

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