Speculator will exceed tax cap



SPECULATOR - The Village of Speculator will exceed the cap on any increase to its tax levy in the 2013-14 budget by $30,439 unless further cuts are made to the budget.

The tax levy for the current fiscal year was $793,667. As of April 1 it was $846,051 for the new fiscal year, a difference of $52,384 or 6.6 percent. The cap is 2.77 percent without allowed adjustments.

The board reviewed the draft 2013/14 Budget one more time, cutting appropriations by $55,300, from $1,154,722 to $1,099,422. This is up $161,470 or 17.22 percent over the 2012/13 budget of $937,952.

A new garbage truck body at $40,000 was changed to refurbishing the current one for $12,000.

Among the items deleted were $11,000 for a utility vehicle, a standby generator at $5,700, a garage door opener at $1,200 and a walk-behind snowblower at $2,000 for the Department of Public Works.

On the other hand, the DPW is getting a new Mack truck with plow and wing. The budget includes $158,645 toward the truck; it will be partially offset with about $115,000 in CHIPs funds.

Items new to the budget include $3,000 for a conference table, $4,700 for a standby propane generator and $2,000 more for heat, all for Village Hall.

Fire department requests are up by $5,016, from $82,286 to $87,302.

Some costs have gone down; for instance, health insurance by $12,395.

Budget Officer Bonnie Page says estimated revenues are at $199,371. With $53,500 in fund balance appropriated to reduce taxes, the tax levy is at $846,551 and the estimated tax rate is at 5.870792.

Page had not yet determined the cap on any tax levy increase as of the board’s April 1 meeting; she needed figures that were not yet available.

Mayor Letty Rudes noted that if not for the new truck the budget would have gone up by only $28,000.

The public hearing on the budget will be held Monday, April 15, at 7 p.m. at Village Hall; the next regular meeting of the board will be April 22.