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Moriah budget to meet tax cap

Public hearing slated Nov. 7

The 2014 Moriah town budget will meet the state tax cap and make few changes in spending.

The 2014 Moriah town budget will meet the state tax cap and make few changes in spending.

— The 2014 Moriah town budget will meet the state tax cap and make few changes in spending.

The tentative 2014 budget totals $4,160,118. That’s an increase of $75,989 — 1.86 percent — from the current spending plan of $4,084,129.

The tentative 2014 tax levy is $2,214,853. That’s an increase of $187,815 — 9.2 percent — from the current tax levy of $2,027,038. That tax levy will be reduced, however, when fund balances remaining from 2013 are applied.

Scozzafava expects to have about $250,000 in fund balance available to offset the tax levy increase.

Moriah will be under the state tax cap, which allows an increase of 1.66 percent in taxes, according to Supervisor Tom Scozzafava.

“We’ll definitely be under the cap,” the supervisor said. “This budget really hasn’t changed a lot from past years.”

Moriah residents will have an opportunity to comment on the proposed budget during a budget hearing Thursday, Nov. 7, at 6:30 p.m. at the town hall.

Scozzafava expects the budget to be adopted by the town board, with few if any changes, during the board’s Nov. 14 meeting.

The biggest spending increase in the 2014 tentative budget is in the Moriah fire district, which is up from $118,017 to $153,807 — 30.3 percent. Taxes in the Moriah fire district will go 64.68 percent.

Scozzafava pointed out the fire district budget is determined by the board of fire commissioners and submitted to the town for inclusion in the town budget. The town board has no say on the fire district budget.

Ned Phinney, chairman of the Moriah board of fire commissioners, did not respond to requests for information on the fire district budget.

The Moriah fire district budget exceeds the 1.66 percent tax cap. Commissioners will be forced to complete state requirements to exceed the cap.

The tentative town budget includes a 10 percent increase in the cost of employee health insurance and 3 percent pay increases for town workers. Scozzafava noted the town’s union employees return to the their pay schedule in 2014 after two years of concessions.

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