Board finalizes town budget

Final numbers show little more than 1 percent tax increase

— The Skaneateles Town Board unanimously approved the final town budget at its Nov. 3 meeting. The budget contains a total tax increase of just over 1 percent.

“We’re in good, sound financial health,” said Town Supervisor Terri Roney.

The 2012 budget includes a basic tax rate of $2.48 per $1,000 of assessed property value, down slightly from $2.49 per $1,000 from the 2011 budget. This rate is for the combined town and highway department funds, but does not include the separate special districts such as fire, water and sewer.

Of the four fire districts in the town, Skaneateles and Shepard Settlement are both down by a few pennies, while Skaneateles No. 2 and Mottville are both up by minimal cents.

The general town wide budget includes a 1.52 percent increase over the 2011 budget, which, being under the state’s 2 percent tax cap rate, allowed the town board to avoid seeking a local law to allow the town to exceed the cap.

The largest increases in the budget were for the highway department, with a 3.97 percent increase over 2011 for the highway town wide budget, and a 4.62 percent increase over 2011 for the highway part town budget.

The final 2012 Skaneateles town budget was passed after the board held a public hearing on the preliminary budget, during which only two residents attended and only one question on the general process of making the budget.

“I think it’s a very good budget,” said Town Councilor Nancy Murray after the final vote. Roney agreed, saying, “The board really worked hard on this.”

Also at the meeting:

—The board scheduled a public hearing on the 2012 Skaneateles Fire Protection Contract for 7:15 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 17.

—The board unanimously renewed its contract to receive emergency medical services from SAVES for the 2012 calendar year.

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