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No tax increase in town budget plan

October 19, 2012
JOHN BORGOLINI , The Leader Herald

JOHNSTOWN - Town Board members will discuss the proposed 2013 budget next week, and they expect the tax rate to remain unchanged from this year.

The proposed spending plan shows a $2.6 million budget heading into Thursday's workshop, at which the Town Board will analyze it more thoroughly before conducting a public hearing Nov. 8.

Councilman Walter Lane said the board members will discuss everything thoroughly while trying to keep the tax rate the same.

"I think it's important for the taxpayers to have no raise [in taxes]," Lane said. "Everyone else is talking about a tax raise, and if we can keep ours steady, that would be very helpful to the taxpayers."

The 2013 budget proposal is the first that MacVean has designed, and she said the process has gone smoothly.

One of her main goals with the budget was to avoid any unnecessary spending, which she thinks she was able to accomplish.

"I think it went together very well. I think there's money in all the funds that need [it]," she said. "We didn't have to raise anything drastically."

The cost to run the town is just more than $3.5 million per year, and MacVean said the town expects almost $2.2 million in revenue and has just under $437,000 in unexpected fund balance.

The total amount the town needs to raise in taxes will be $931,658.

MacVean doesn't expect any big changes to the budget proposal at Thursday's workshop.

Holding the line on local taxes has been a common theme with towns in Fulton County this year, despite the county supervisors voting to override the state-imposed tax-levy cap if necessary.

MacVean said the county was able to prevent a major increase last year by selling the Fulton County infirmary, but this year the county doesn't have an easy budget fix.

"The county needs a little wiggle room with their budget, because they have more expenses than the town," she said. "They have to find something else to cut, or else they're going to have to raise the taxes. And I'll vote against that."

Lane and MacVean both said they want the public to be involved at the Nov. 8 public hearing before the Town Board approves the 2013 budget.

The board changed the time of this year's budget hearing to 6:30 p.m., two hours later than it has been done in recent years.

"I do want [residents'] input. If they have suggestions, I want them to come," MacVean said. "That's why we set it at 6:30, so people can come. I want the public involved. It's their money. It's their town."

John Borgolini covers rural Fulton County towns and can be reached at



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