Elizabethtown The Essex County Board of Supervisors voted on a 2012 budget that eliminates 10 positions while raising the tax levy 10.54 percent.
The board met for almost four hours Monday, Dec. 12, where they passed a budget after several attempts to restore the positions that were eliminated.
“In my 20-plus years here, this has been by far the most difficult budget process,” Moriah Supervisor and budget liaison Thomas “Tom” Scozzafava said. “I have never been through a process where you take a vote on a budget then re-vote to go back and look at each detail.”
Board Chairman Randall “Randy” Douglas said that he felt the board worked hard on the budget, even though he disagreed with the final numbers.
“My colleagues put the time and the effort into this budget and represented their towns well,” Douglas said. “I disagree with this budget because I wanted to get in under the cap, but I do feel that it is now time for the state to come through with serious mandate relief.”
“I don’t know if we are a whole lot different now than we were last year,” County Manager and Budget Officer Daniel Palmer said. “I am not sure that we will not be looking at the same thing next year, but we will deal with that when next year comes.”
The 2012 Essex County budget calls for $16,276,443 to be raised by taxes, a 10.54 percent increase from 2011. The tax rate is expected to jump from $2.13 per $1,000 of assessed property value in 2011 to $2.44, an increase of 31 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value.
That means a homeowner with a home assessed at $100,000 will pay and additional $31 in taxes, while a homeowner with a home at the county average $156,000 would pay an additional $48.36 in taxes.