TUPPER LAKE - The proposed tax levy for the town's 2013 budget is already less than the current year's.
According to an Oct. 11 summary of the proposed budget, the town would raise $1.43 million of the $1.97 million it plans to spend next year through property taxes.
That puts the proposed tax levy at about a 2 percent decrease, falling below the state-imposed tax cap, which varies for each municipality but usually falls around a 2 percent increase.
The proposed tax rate, $2.86 per $1,000 in assessed property value, is 3 cents lower than 2012.
The town lost about $1 million in total assessed value in the last year, dropping from $138.1 million to $136.93 million.
Town Supervisor Roger Amell and town Bookkeeper Mary Sue Wolson put the budget together, filed the tentative one by Sept. 30 and worked on it a bit after that. Then they sat down with the town board at a half-hour budget workshop before last week's regular board meeting to take the first hack at it as a group.
The budget includes 2 percent raises across the board for people who work for the town, except for board members. They don't have any raise included in the budget.
When building the current year's budget, Amell took an 11 percent raise to $16,000. He kept that number for next year's budget, but he's looking for one addition.
"What I want is my eye and dental (insurance) picked up," Amell told the board last week.
The town pays half of his eye and dental coverage now.
It also includes a few equipment purchases, like new computers and software for Wolson and one to be shared by town Clerk Laurie Fuller and the assessor's office.
Town Councilwoman Patti Littlefield suggested the budget should maybe include adding ramps and making other adjustments to the town hall to make it accessible to people with handicaps.
Councilwoman Kathy Lefebvre said the town had put off doing that in the past because it was waiting to see what would happen with a new fire hall, since one of the suggestions for it was to create a new building to hold all the local emergency services plus the town and village offices. But since that option seems unlikely at this point after a feasibility study was conducted, Lefebvre said maybe Littlefield is right; maybe now is the time to do that.
Amell said it might make more sense to do the project through bonding, then pay for it starting with next year's budget, "instead of getting money from the taxpayers and not using it that year."
The board set another budget workshop for 4 p.m. today in the lower level of the town hall.
Contact Jessica Collier at 518-891-2600 ext. 26 or firstname.lastname@example.org.