Clay proposes tax increase in 2011

Residents in the town of Clay may see a tax increase of 13.71 percent in 2011 if officials aren't able to trim down the tentative budget presented to the town board Monday Oct. 4.

According to Clay Supervisor Damian Ulatowski, the tentative budget total is $13,419,186, an increase of $704,159, or 5.5 percent, from the 2010 budget. The 2010 budget total was $12,715,027.

Major increases are due to salaries ($250,919 - 3 percent per year for 2010 and 2011), retirement contribution ($111,310 - a 40 percent increase from 2010) and health insurance ($265,063).

"Theses are costs that have come down to us from the state level," Ulatowski said.

For non-represented employees, health insurance coverage was modified for a savings of $41,000 this year. Health insurance for retirees was also modified, which caused a savings of $141,000, he said.

"The level of coverage is substantially the same as before," Ulatowski said. "We want to revise the health coverage for represented employees but both bargaining agreements are currently under negotiation so we have to maintain the current coverage until agreements are reached."

The town will see a savings where employees are concerned - each department's mileage, training and conference appropriation has been scaled back and for the third year in a row, there is no salary increase for elected officials.

According to Ulatowski, there also are no new employees.

"Two employees took early retirement incentive in 2010 and their positions are not being filled," Ulatowski said.

There was an early retirement in the highway department and that position was filled, but at a lower wage.

With a proposed tax increase of 13.71 percent, the tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value would increase by $7.68, from 49.62 to $57.31.

For residents in the village of North Syracuse, the tax rate would increase by $4.02 per $1,000 of assessed value.

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