Taxpayers, supervisors speak on preliminary Essex County budget

— "The contract for sale has not occurred. We are awful close to having a signed contract, probably within a week or so," Palmer said. "But we have to also get a certificate of need from the state to transfer the property, and that process will take a year. So we have to budget for the Horace Nye Nursing Home."

Palmer said that the net budget for the county had also dropped around $700,00 over the past six years.

"A net budget sorts out your total appropriations and your total revenues," he said.

Palmer also reiterated that the county tax rate has been one of the lowest in the state, adding that they are still under the property tax levy cap even though they feel they have been responsible.

"Essex County with a $2 tax rate is subject to the same criteria as a county that has a tax rate that is $7 to $10," he said. "I am not picking on them, but Clinton County routinely meets the cap and gets a pat on the head with a rate that is three times higher than the one we have. Tax rates throughout the state range upwards of $10-12 per thousand."

Palmer said that the public hearing would be reopened for further comment on Dec. 10.

"Honestly, we want to hear from the public," Douglas said.

"We hope that the budget will be voted on after the Dec. 10 hearing," Palmer added. The county budget must be adopted by Dec. 20.

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