November 9, 2012

Essex County overriding state tax cap


---- — ELIZABETHTOWN — Essex County lawmakers voted 14 to 3 this week to override the state’s 2 percent tax cap for the 2013 county budget.

The Essex County Board of Supervisors set a public hearing on the override local law for 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26, in the Old County Courthouse at Elizabethtown.

A final vote on the local law will be held after the hearing.

Voting against the tax-cap override were Supervisors Sharon Boisen (I-Essex), Edward Hatch (D-Willsboro) and Randy Preston (I-Wilmington). Supervisor Joyce Morency (R-St. Armand) was absent.

The three who opposed the override said the county should do more to head off a possible 10 percent tax increase as the new budget is being prepared.

The budget is still being formulated by County Manager Daniel Palmer; Board of Supervisors Chair Randy Douglas (D-Jay); Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava (R-Moriah), the budget liaison officer; and other county officials.

Palmer said state mandates are driving up the bottom line in the budget, and the county could not make enough cuts to meet the tax cap and still maintain services.

The tentative budget is so far up about $10 million over this year’s $102 million total spending plan.

Email Lohr McKinstry: