SHERIDAN - Sheridan residents recently flocked to the fire hall, worried over the town budget.
The Sheridan Town Board plans to pass a local law to override the tax cap. The town did not pass the override last year but has decided to follow the advice of Town Attorney Jeffrey Passafaro to pass the measure as a protection.
Sixteen residents attended the meeting, very concerned the override gives the town the ability to raise taxes as much as they would like.
OBSERVER Photo by Nicole Gugino
Sixteen Sheridan residents attended a recent public hearing of the Sheridan Town Board to override the tax cap.
Supervisor Louis Delmonte assured the crowd the town does not have plans to increase the tax rate more than the tax cap allows, but does not want to be penalized in the case of a calculation error.
"We are not passing the law to go over 2 percent; we are passing the law to protect us," he said.
Delmonte explained the law is only effective for one year, not indefinitely.
Town Clerk Julie Szumigala also broke the news at the meeting there will be a new way workers' compensation is billed. She explained the cost itself will not affect taxpayers because they already pay for this in their county taxes, however it effects the town budget.
Delmonte explained due to this as well as retirement and health insurance costs increasing, the town cannot promise there will be no tax increase.
In 2010, the board was able to decrease the tax rate and in 2011 the increase was less than 1 percent. Szumigala warned if the town does not raise taxes for a long time and then something happens the town is only able to raise the levy 2 percent, which may not be enough.
The board unanimously passed the local law to override the tax cap.
Council member Amy Farnham remarked she has not seen so many residents attend a public meeting and would like to see that much community input when the budget is presented to the board Nov. 8.
The board also authorized hiring Elmar Kiefer as an accounting consultant to help with the complex changes in the budget at $200 per month. Kiefer is also the budget officer for the town of Hanover.
The board will hold its next regular meeting Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the fire hall.
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