Clay votes to exceed tax cap

— Another resident asked for an explanation of the tax cap itself.

“What’s the point of putting on a cap?” she asked.

“I think the governor’s thought process is to try to expect each and every one of us to limit the ever-escalating cost of real estate taxes,” Ulatowski said. “Keeping it down as low as 2 percent, it forces boards like this and every other municipality to really sharpen their pencils and be sure they’re delivering the best possible product that they can.”

Ulatowski emphasized that the town of Clay had been doing just that long before the tax cap legislation was enacted.

“I think you know that for the past 10 years, as long as I’ve been on the board, this board does a very, very good job to try to minimize costs,” he said. “We’re not afraid to attack the big issues that maximize taxes, one of them being the abolishment of the police department a while back, which drastically reduced your taxes to the tune of almost 20 percent. You know, the past two years, they haven’t come up 20 percent. And we’re still doing everything we can to try to keep costs low.”

However, Ulatowski said, some costs are out of his control.

“There are some costs for which I can do nothing —wages, benefits, retirement costs, fuel costs, asphalt, salt,” he said. “I can’t do anything about them. But I will try to get as close to or under that 2 percent as I can.”

In addition, at Monday’s meeting, town clerk Jill Hageman-Clark presented Ulatowski’s budget to board members. This is the first opportunity board members have to see the preliminary budget, which is not yet available to the public. It will be presented to the public at a future date.

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