The proposed 2012 Moriah town budget falls within the new state 2 percent tax cap.
The town’s preliminary budget totals $4,094,489. That’s an increase of $155,054 — 3.9 percent — from the current spending plan of $3,939,435.
The preliminary 2012 tax levy totals $1,978,306. That’s an increase of $28,687 — 1.47 percent — from the present levy of $1,949,619.
A public hearing on the proposed budget will be held Thursday, Nov. 10, at 5:45 p.m. at the town court house, adjacent to the town hall at Park Place in Port Henry. Supervisor Tom Scozzafava expects few, if any, changes before the spending plan is adopted by the town board.
“I support the tax cap, but if the state really wanted to cut spending they should have capped appropriations,” Scozzafava said. “The tax cap really isn’t an issue for Moriah. We haven’t had a 2 percent tax increase in a decade.”
Still, the 2012 budget has been difficult for Moriah officials. Besides the normal spending increases, the town faced a pair of major storms — in April and August — that caused widespread damage to the community.
“With the storm events we used a lot of our fund balance,” Scozzafava said. “We were very fortunate to have some extra money put aside for an emergency.”
The fund balance was not enough to cover all storm-related costs, though. The April storm caused $402,000 in damage. The costs of damage from Hurricane Irene in August is still be calculated.
Those storm repairs will not impact the 2012 budget. Moriah is expecting the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay for the repairs, although Moriah may have to borrow short-term until the FEMA money arrives.
“I’m confident that FEMA will get us the money,” Scozzafava said. “I’ve been in contact with our federal representatives and have been dealing with FEMA. It may take a while, but we’ll get it.”