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Crown Point struggling to meet tax cap

Preliminary budget up 4.9 percent

The 2012 Crown Point town budget will meet the new state 2 percent tax cap. How and by how much remains to be seen. The town board adopted a $1.87 million preliminary budget during a special meeting Nov. 1. That preliminary spending plan calls for a 4.9 percent tax increase — more than twice the 2 percent state tax cap.

The 2012 Crown Point town budget will meet the new state 2 percent tax cap. How and by how much remains to be seen. The town board adopted a $1.87 million preliminary budget during a special meeting Nov. 1. That preliminary spending plan calls for a 4.9 percent tax increase — more than twice the 2 percent state tax cap.

— “We have fund balance if we chose to use it,” Kosmider said. “If we can’t find another way, it’ll have to be fund balance.”

Walters agreed using fund balance is a possible solution, but he’s wary of reducing the town’s “rainy day” money.

“It might be a mistake to use too much of the fund balance,” Walters said. “You like to keep that fund balance for a rainy day.”

The preliminary 2012 budget cuts no services, employee positions or programs.

Complicating the budget planning is employee health insurance. The town board has received three different estimates on the cost of health insurance for next year, ranging from $49,000 to $83,000. The preliminary budget includes the higher health insurance projection. If the cost is less, that helps lower the tax levy.

Kosmider believes the budget can be reduced significantly before its adoption.

“I won’t be satisfied with 2 percent,” she said. “I want it to be less than that. That’s my goal.”

Walters doesn’t know if less than 2 percent is possible.

“It’s nice to have goals,” he said. “We’ve done well with taxes over the years. The state wants 2 percent or less. We’re done that for years without the state telling us to.”

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