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Village budget proposed, board approves exceeding state tax levy limit

— Wheeler called the tax freeze a “gimmick with no meaningful tax relief” that was rather an “unnecessary intrusion on the autonomy of local governments to serve their residents efficiently using their best judgment with their unique knowledge of local needs and circumstances.” He previously signed his name onto a Madison County Board of Supervisors petition to the state “adamantly opposing” the freeze.

Wheeler said the village tax levy rate has been an average 1.6 percent increase per year since 2005. “The village of Cazenovia has been doing a tax cap before the tax cap was cool. It’s called good government; it’s called good budgeting,” he said.

The Madison County Board of Supervisors has estimated that under the governor’s tax freeze proposal, the average county resident will receive $6.85 in rebates, while the governor’s office has not explained exactly what the costs will be for paperwork, administration, postage and lost local autonomy.

“Ironically, [exceeding the tax cap] will probably save taxpayers money overall by opting us out of bureaucratic freeze procedures,” Wheeler said.

After the board’s public budget hearing, during which no members of the public made any questions or comments, the board unanimously approved a local law authorizing the village to exceed the 2 percent tax cap.

The board will vote to formally adopt the 2014-15 village budget at its May 5 meeting. Until then, the village board is still accepting public comments and questions on the budget, which is available for public viewing in the village municipal office.

Also at the meeting, the board:

—Discussed village parking issues and in what ways they could amend the village code to improve village parking. Some possibilities discussed included removing or making seasonal the three spaces added last year to Sullivan Street, which have caused problems for school buses turning onto Emory Avenue because of snow buildup; better monitoring of illegal parking on the connector between Hurd and Street and Emory Avenue, as well as on Hurd Street itself, during after school student pick-ups; and repainting the new handicapped spot in front of the public parking lot at 22 Lincklaen St. to make the spot more obvious. The board invites public comments on the issue of village parking and will discuss it more at its May 5 meeting.

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