ELIZABETHTOWN — Despite of rising costs for fuel, highway salt, pensions and insurance, the Town of Elizabethtown managed to keep its tax-levy increase at 3.5 percent for this year, which is within the state tax cap.
The allowable rate for Elizabethtown, as calculated by the New York State Comptroller’s Office, is 4.3 percent for this year.
“Our cap was higher than most towns because of the decrease in the tax levy in 2012,” Elizabethtown Supervisor Margaret Bartley said.
The total town budget is $1,519,762, with $798,853 raised by the tax levy.
The Fire District budget is $111,533, which brings the total for all costs to $1,631,295 and the total amount to be raised by taxes to $910,381.
The tax levy is up $37,629 over 2012, and the Fire District budget is $4,200 over the current amount.
The Comptroller’s Office allows a total increase of $799,404 for the town; the budget is $551 under that.
The tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value is up 29 cents from this year; the rate is $6.18 per $1,000 for 2013.
TAXABLE VALUE DOWN
“Elizabethtown’s tax cap is higher than most other towns because our levy dropped last year (by 6 percent),” Bartley said. “As a result of that decrease, there is a carry-over amount (of 1.5 percent) added to our tax cap from 2012.
“There is also an adjustment because our town’s total property values dropped by over a half million dollars this year.”
The taxable value of property in Elizabethtown declined from $152,273,565 to $151,333,153. That is attributed to the loss of Hubbard Hall, the sale of commercial property to nonprofits, reduced assessments on homes, lower prices for houses that have sold and property damaged by flooding.
Tax-exempt property in Elizabethtown is valued at a total of $46,096,600.
“Preparing the 2013 budget process was challenging, and our town is facing increases in the cost of heating and highway fuels, health insurance and employee pensions,” Bartley said.