Press-Republican

Local News

November 4, 2013

Jay budget within tax cap

(Continued)

‘TIGHT BUDGET’

The tax rate for the proposed budget’s general fund would go down to $2.35 per $1,000 of assessed value, from $2.37 this year.

The highway fund would go from a rate of $3.32 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2013 down to $3.25 in 2014.

“Although we operate on a very tight budget, we pinch every penny possible,” Garrow said in the email.

Not including any special districts, such as water, sewer or fire protection, the combined general and highway tax rate would be $5.63 per $1,000 of assessment, down from $5.69 this year.

The levy for the AuSable Forks Ambulance Squad would go from about $122,000 to $127,000, a $4,800 increase. That levy is included in the general fund budget.

The tax levies for the town’s water districts are all up less than $1,000 each, so those tax rates will increase only slightly. The levy for the AuSable Forks Sewer District is expected to stay about the same as this year.

The AuSable Forks Fire District levy is up from $70,625 to $71,141, Jay Fire District went up from $109,150 to $111,650, and Upper Jay Fire District increased from $75,383 to $81,411.

The district tax levies are set by boards of elected fire commissioners, not the town.

GOOD RATING

This summer, State Comptroller Thomas Dinapoli released a report of fiscally stressed towns, Douglas said.

Municipalities were rated in percentages of financial stress, with significant stress anything higher than 65 percent, moderate at more than 55 percent, and no stress if the score was lower than 45 percent.

“The Town of Jay had a 3.3 percent rating of fiscal stress,” Douglas said. “With a 3.3 percent designation, we certainly are doing financially well, which is a credit to the town board and Budget Officer Susan Richards.”

He said Town of Jay budgets were compiled with only modest tax-levy increases long before the state tax cap went into effect.

“Over the past 10 years, our adopted town budgets have seen an average increase of 1 3/4 percent,” Douglas said.

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