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Posted on May 26, 2015 at 10:17 AM by PattiAnn Schultz
Next week the Town Board will begin the process of developing a town budget for our residents. We will be meeting with all fourteen department heads to have a conversation on their needs for their department. After these meetings conclude the Town Board will then analyze all the data and come up with a budget plan for 2016.
This is not something that the Town Board likes to rush because we take this process very seriously. We take all the available information we can from various sources before making our decisions on the budget.
Once again this year the town has the New York State imposed tax cap which we must adhere to so residents will receive a state rebate check in October. This does hamper the services the town can provide to our residents by not providing the town with the revenue we need to adequately provide first class services. The town does not receive state aid or Gap Elimination Adjustment from the state; in fact we receive nothing from the state to balance our budgets unlike other taxing entities in town who never think they get enough of your taxpayer dollars.
As an example, we already know that our health care increase for 2016 will be up 10% on a two million dollar health care bill for our employees. That increase alone is $200,000 right off the bat. And yes, all employees pay something toward their health care now. Increase in pension costs and the increases in raw materials simply give us a bigger number than the state allows for us to stay under the tax cap. The solution: we need to do things differently and outside the box. This will be the job of the Town Board to figure out in the next six months.
Providing services and keeping the tax rate stable is a goal the Town Board has set for itself since I became Supervisor in 2006. Since I took office the tax rate in 2006 was $4.16 per thousand and in 2015 it was $4.60 which equals a $0.44 cent increase in ten years.
My concern is that higher taxes keep businesses and housing starts from coming to town which in turn increases our town tax base. It also drives residents from Webster and New York State as Monroe County is the highest tax region in the country.
Again, your Town Board will work hard for you the taxpayer and keep you informed about our progress on the 2016 Budget as we move forward in the upcoming months.
If you have any questions about your town government, please feel free to contact me during regular business hours at (585) 872-7068; or email me anytime at email@example.com
Ronald W. Nesbitt