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Posted on August 24, 2015 at 8:30 AM by PattiAnn Schultz
On August 10, 2015, the New York State Comptroller’s Office informed the Town of Webster that under the mandated New York Tax Cap Webster can spend $254,540 more in 2016 budget than in the 2015 budget.
While this might look like a lot of money, it is not when you take into consideration that the town has a $2 million health care bill that is going up by 12% in 2016, or another $240,000. Take that amount from the $254,540 and that leaves the town $14,540 to spend on other items in the budget. As anyone can imagine, that number will not get us to a balanced budget. This is why I will be recommending to the Town Board that the Town of Webster break the tax cap for 2016.
My purpose in writing these articles is not to whine or cry about the difficult decisions the Town Board needs to make in the coming weeks as that is what you elected us to do. It is to inform the Webster residents what is going on in making these decisions and the information that we have to make these decisions on your behalf.
I believe in open government and I believe in the rights of the Webster taxpayer to know all about the facts that go into your tax rate. I do not believe in secret meetings and decisions behind closed doors that do not include the voting public. That is why all of the budget meetings are on Cable 12 and the whole Town of Webster budget will be printed in the Webster Herald for you to see in the September 24th edition of the Webster Herald.
The Town Board also believes in providing the Webster resident the same quality of services that you have come to have and enjoy in past years. To even attempt to stay under the imposed New York State Tax Cap would seriously hurt and lower the quality of services that we currently enjoy in Webster. All areas of the town’s budget would have to be cut and the impact would be great in the areas of Highway, Police, Library, and Parks and Recreation. In past years the Town Board has worked hard to provide outstanding services to Webster residents and we are not going to deplete these services just because New York State says that a 2% tax cap is the way to go when the 2% tax cap is not 2% in 2016 – it is .73%
I would also like to remind Webster residents that from 2008 to 2012, before the state imposed the New York State Tax Cap, the Town of Webster had no tax increase for five years in a row. We did not need the State of New York telling us how to run and stabilize our tax rate; we were already doing it for our residents and we will continue to do so.
So stay tuned as we finalize the 2016 Budget and present it to the public in the September 24th edition of the Webster Herald and at the Public Hearing that we be held at the Town Board meeting on October 1st at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Hall Board room.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ronald W. Nesbitt