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Towns try to weather economic storm

Willsboro

The 2010 budget for the town of Willsboro was passed Nov. 9 and rates will see another slight decrease to $2.53 per thousand.

Though the town's total appropriations will decrease by more than $53,000, the tax levy will nearly double from $772,773 in 2009 to $1,406,754.

The town made a strong effort to hold the line on budget items. Salaries and wages for all town employees will remain frozen for 2010.

The only notable increases in expenses came in the form of mandated state retirement, which increased 11.4 percent, and health insurance, which increased 2.14 percent.

"Increases are necessary because next year the loss of revenue will hit even harder and continual increases will be inevitable," said Willsboro Supervisor Lori Lincoln-Spooner.

The town's fund balance is $200,000 going into 2010, and it's expected to decrease by 20 percent as some of that money is applied to budget items.

Spooner said work will begin soon on the 2011 budget in an effort to be proactive.

"I believe a permanent change in spending patterns is required to ride the wave of incurred national debt over the next decade," she said.

Jay

The town of Jay adopted its budget Nov. 11, which included a 2.5 percent overall increase in the tax levy.

Most of that increase comes through the AuSable Forks Fire District and Ambulance District, which increased 27.5 percent and 9.25 percent, respectively.

The total assessed value in the town of Jay has also increased from $220,251,607 in 2009 to $247,900,823.

The tax levy for the general fund is down 7.5 percent to $576,168 in 2010. The highway fund levy is up 5 percent to $782,760.

The tax rate for the general fund will decrease from $2.83 per thousand to $2.32 per thousand. The rate will also drop from $3.37 per thousand in the highway fund to $3.16 per thousand.

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