Press-Republican

Local News

November 4, 2013

Jay budget within tax cap

JAY — The tax levy for the proposed 2014 budget for the Town of Jay stays well within the state cap.

The Jay tax levy is at $1.7 million, a 1.8 percent increase from $1.68 million this year.

The state cap formula for Jay is 2.5 percent, Jay Budget Officer Susan Richards said in an email.

“In order to stay under the tax cap, our overall increase for the 2014 budget cannot exceed $42,975,” she said.

“The preliminary budget being proposed for adoption yields an increase of only $31,783. We analyzed trends in spending and evaluated the effectiveness of operations to ensure our budget remained in balance.”

‘TOUGH DECISIONS’

Jay Town Supervisor Randy Douglas praised Richards, Public Works Director Chris Garrow, the Jay Town Council and town workers for suggesting ways to save money.

“When unfunded mandates, such as State Retirement, eat up the majority of our allowable tax cap, we are forced to make tough, educated decisions that will save taxpayer dollars,” Douglas said by email.

“Recently, we eliminated one (town) justice position; this is a prime example of being fiscally responsible to our people.”

The budget includes a 2 percent raise for all employees and elected officials. This is only the second raise given within a four-year period.

LOWER WATER RATES

Douglas said that in 2005 the town revamped the Upper Jay Water System. At that time, water rates for an Upper Jay water user were at an all-time high of $9.97 per $1,000 of assessed value.

“I am most proud of the hard work, we, the town board, did on behalf of the residents of Upper Jay, leveraging state and federal funding to offset the cost to the Upper Jay water users,” Douglas said.

“We provided safe, affordable drinking water and reduced their inherited rate of $9.97 per $1,000 to $2.38. The reduced water rate is well below the state comptroller’s required threshold.”

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