Clay proposes 1.62 percent tax increase

— Taxpayers in the town of Clay will likely face a slight increase in taxes in 2014, according to the tentative budget presented Monday, Oct. 7.

Town Clerk Jill Hageman-Clark presented the budget proposal to town board members at the regular board meeting. There was no discussion of the proposal, as this is the first they’ve seen of it. Additional discussion of the budget will take place in the future.

According to Supervisor Damian Ulatowski, the budget proposes a 1.62 percent tax increase, which equates to roughly $1.67 per household.

“We ran a very efficient ship this past year,” Ulatowski said. “The costs basically reflect our costs in employee benefits and salaries, as well as paving costs. The governor did not hit us with a large pension cost increase this year. We’re closer to the tax cap than we thought we would be. All in all, we’re in good shape.”

Deputy Supervisor Robert Edick pointed out that the town did see some declining revenues this year.

“Some assessments were down,” Edick said, “[Great Northern Mall] in particular, and a few other places. And mortgage tax is down. So we did have to make up that revenue. Otherwise, everything looks pretty good.”

Ulatowski did not anticipate any cuts in staffing or programming for the town.

“We’re very comfortable with this 1.62 percent proposal,” he said.

The board will hold a public hearing on a proposed local law to override the state’s 2 percent tax cap on Oct. 21, though Ulatowski didn’t anticipate the override would be necessary.

“It’s just a precautionary step that we have to take,” Ulatowski said. “But the board will do everything we can to stay under that 2 percent.”

The tentative budget is available on the town’s website, townofclay.org.

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