PERTH - The Town Board plans to adopt a $1.4 million budget for 2013 that would exceed the town's state-mandated tax cap.
The budget would increase the town tax levy by just about $2,000 more than what the tax-cap would allow, Supervisor Greg Fagan estimated. The budget would increase the town property-tax rate from $1.83 per $1,000 of assessed value to $1.85 per $1,000.
The Town Board plans to adopt the budget by Nov. 20, but it cannot approve the plan until after the state Secretary of State receives a copy of Perth's local law declaring its intention to override the tax cap. The Town Board already has approved the override measure.
The proposed budget - which includes a $688,749 general fund, a $556,500 highway fund and a $176,500 fire protection fund - had to exceed the tax cap due to pension increases and an increase in garbage pickup costs, town officials said.
Last year, the town exceeded the tax cap without realizing it. The state then forced the town to put $16,575 in a tax-cap reserve fund for 2013.
"It's not a bad package," Fagan said of the budget. Ideally, the tax cap would be a third of what it is. The bottom line is it's done. I guess it's acceptable. It's not ideal."
The total amount to be raised by taxes in 2013 would be $577,999, according to the proposed budget. The town's state-mandated cap on a tax-levy increase is just under 2 percent, town officials said. The levy increase would exceed that cap.
Town volunteer firefighters told town officials the fire department's - which is raised entirely by taxes - shouldn't be cut. Firefighters said they need the money to adhere to state mandates and buy proper equipment.
"No more cutting back - the fire department is the last thing you should be cutting," 2nd Assistant Fire Chief Scott Friedlander said at last Thursday's board meeting. "We ask for this every year so we can protect you, so we can protect ourselves, so we can go home to our families. We're asking for this to protect you and to keep us safe, and I hope you accepted our budget."
Town officials approved the fire department's budget, which at $176,500 is $5,000 more than budgeted this year.
John Borgolini can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.