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Brasher officials make plans to override 2 percent tax cap

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BRASHER FALLS - Brasher officials voted during a special meeting Thursday to enact a law to override the 2 percent property tax cap in their 2013 budget proposal.

The public will have an opportunity to air their thoughts about the move at 4:15 p.m. Nov. 8, prior to the public hearing on the budget proposal.

Town Supervisor M. James Dawson said Thursday’s move will allow them to adopt a budget in excess of the tax levy limit. His budget proposal shows a tax increase of approximately 8 percent.

“(The law) will take effect immediately upon filing it with the secretary of state,” he said.

The law that capped annual increases for both local government and school districts took effect in local fiscal years starting on or after Jan. 1, 2012. It limits the annual growth of property taxes levied by local governments and school districts to 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less.

Brasher residents had seen a 6 percent decrease in their taxes last year, but Mr. Dawson has said that with costs going up, he has had a difficult time staying away from a tax increase.

He has frozen wages for all elected and appointed officials under the budget. The supervisor’s salary will remain at $16,405, the town clerk’s will stay at $28,145 and the highway superintendent’s will continue at $45,040. Mr. Dawson has also budgeted $17,500 for four councilmen, $18,180 for two justices and $6,015 for the tax collector.

Some areas have been out of his control though.

He has penciled in appropriations of $525,155 in the general fund, along with $310,539 in estimated revenues and $50,000 in unexpended fund balance, leaving $164,616 to be raised by taxes in that area.

Under the highway budget, he has penciled in $830,100 of appropriations, with estimated revenues of $537,948 and $60,000 of unexpended fund balance, leaving $232,152 to be raised by taxes in that area.

The total to be raised by taxes is $396,768.That translates to an increase in the tax rate of 42 cents over last year, bringing it to $4.75 per $1,000 of assessed value.

The preliminary budget is available for public review during regular business hours at the town municipal building. The public hearing will be held at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 8, followed by the town board’s regular monthly session.

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