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Posted on August 1, 2016 at 11:20 AM by PattiAnn Schultz
Well, the numbers are out and New York State has given the Town of Webster a .68% increase in their formula, or around $270,000, more to work with this year as far as our budget goes. On the surface this is impossible to achieve when health care and cost of goods are so much higher. I understand some dislike the fact that I keep you informed about this topic, and figure I am whining about the tax cap, but unless I talk about this, how are you going to understand the process and where your tax dollars are going?
The Town Board will, once again, try to bring the Webster 2017 Budget under the tax cap. However, with my knowledge of the budget and what needs to be spent to continue to provide the services of the Police Department, Highway Department and Library (our three most expensive departments), I doubt it can be done without considerable cuts in all areas of their budgets. To me that is not being fiscally responsible to go backwards in time because you will never get caught up again.
I read with interest this week a flyer from a politician telling me how he voted to cap property taxes, and how he increased aid to school districts totaling $5.6 billion. I could not help but laugh out loud at such comments. First, the tax cap has hurt towns and cut services to residents all throughout Monroe County while school districts have seen record state aid increases and dropping enrollments and they never cut anything. Yet residents expect the town to cut employees, services and limit wage increases without cutting back on the services they come to expect.
Right here in Webster, 63% of your tax dollars go to the Webster Central School District and they received a huge increase in state aid and the elimination of the Gap Elimination Adjustment which netted them an additional $4 million and they are still going to raise school taxes this year as enrollment has dropped 400 students since 2010.
I mention all this because residents voted for this increase in taxes for the Webster Central School District and I think you should also get behind the same increases for our Police and Highway workers as they are just as important to this community. Remember your town taxes are only 12% of your total tax bill and are the smallest part of your total overall tax bill with a lot of services thrown in for your benefit.
The Town Board will try our best to stay under the tax cap and provide Webster residents the services they need but it is going to be a huge chore to accomplish this.
As always, 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