By CRISTINE MEIXNER
PISECO -- Even though the Town of Arietta Budget for 2014 will go down by $5,850 or .23 percent, the overall tax levy will go up by 2.34 percent. But that is not the figure that counts when complying with the state-mandated cap on a tax levy increase.
Arietta's state-mandated tax cap is 2.26 percent for 2014. Once the Raquette Lake Fire District appropriation of $17,653 is backed out of the overall tax levy, as allowed by law, the increase comes in at 1.27 percent, well below the cap.
Although appropriations will go down, estimated revenues are going down by a lot more -- $65,595. The board increased the amount of unexpended balance used to reduce the tax levy by $21,023 to make up some of the difference.
Total health insurance costs will go down by $46,000. However, Wilt cautioned, "This I think is a one-time Obama thing and next year will go up; it is going to be uncontrollable in the future."
Two percent pay increases are included in the new budget.
Notable decreases in General Fund appropriations are airport master plan update from $44,953 to zero; unallocated insurance going from $48,000 to $40,000; playground and recreation personal services down $5,000 to $20,000; planning book update going from $10,000 to $1,850; and hospital and medical insurance down $16,000, from $136,000 to $120,000, due to a new plan.
Spending increases include $18,709 more for equipment under the supervisor line.
General Fund revenue changes include $2,500 more in aviation gas sales; snowmobile trail maintenance reimbursement going down $6,000 to $34,000; and federal transportation aid going from $41,755 to zero.
Important decreases in Highway Fund appropriations are capital improvements going down $160,000, from $220,000 to $60,000; general repairs going down $11,907, from $208,327 to $196,420; personal services for plowing state and county highways going down by $10,000 to $95,060; and hospital and medical insurance going down by $30,000, from $181,000 to $150,000.
An increase in Highway Fund appropriations is in machinery equipment, going up $46,514 from $45,000 to $91,514; and transfer to capital projects, up $90,000 from $60,000 to $150,000.
Major changes in Highway Fund estimated revenues are services to other governments up by $20,000; and state highway aid down by $40,000.