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Moriah meets tax cap for 2013

Town budget adopted

The 2013 Moriah town budget holds the line on property taxes for most residents. It also meets the state’s 2 percent tax cap. So, Supervisor Tom Scozzafava is happy, right?

The 2013 Moriah town budget holds the line on property taxes for most residents. It also meets the state’s 2 percent tax cap. So, Supervisor Tom Scozzafava is happy, right?

— The 2013 Moriah town budget holds the line on property taxes for most residents. It also meets the state’s 2 percent tax cap. So, Supervisor Tom Scozzafava is happy, right?

“Absolutely not,” he said. “We need equipment; we have trucks that are 12 years old that should be replaced. We have to address Bulwagga Bay campsite; we’re losing our beach there. We need so much and the tax cap just won’t allow us to address these issues.”

The 2013 Moriah budget totals $4,084,129. That’s a decrease of $12,315 from the present budget of $4,096,444.

The 2013 tax levy will be $2,027,020. That’s an increase of $48,714 from the current tax levy of $1,978,306. Exempting fire district spending, which is set by district commissioners and not the town, that’s a tax increase of 1.9 percent.

The 2013 tax rate for residents living outside the village of Port Henry will be $7.95 per $1,000 of assessed value. That’s the same as 2012. The tax rate for residents in the village of Port Henry will be $6.72, an increase from the 2012 rate of $6.50.

The 2 percent state tax cap really straps a town, Scozzafava said.

The cap allowed Moriah to increase taxes by about $50,000, which includes some unused money from 2012. Yet employee health insurance costs in 2012 will increase $40,000 and employee retirement costs will go up $15,000.

“That’s it, health insurance and retirement put us over the tax cap and we haven’t even discussed anything else,” Scozzafava said.

To get back under the cap Moriah made cuts totalling $94,000 in contingency spending, contributions to the local ambulance squad, wages, worker compensation and other items.

The town board also negotiated a $15,000 contribution from Hudson Headwaters Health Network for maintenence of the town-owned health center and decided to raise trash disposal fees to generate another $40,000.

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