Hanover may exceed property tax percent cap

OBSERVER Photo by Braden Carmen Hanover Town Supervisor Todd Johnson, center, highlighted that property evaluation increases will offset a higher percentage of property taxes levied by the Town of Hanover.

HANOVER — Inflation has taken its toll on everyone in the past year in one way or another. The town of Hanover is no different.

With the preliminary budget set to be released for the upcoming year, the Hanover Town Board recently took measures to cover itself in the event that extra funding is needed to cover certain costs that came in higher than expected.

At the most recent Town Board meeting, a public hearing was held on a proposed local law to override the 2% limit on the amount of real property taxes to be levied by the Town of Hanover.

“The law very specifically says that we are limited to 2% and sometimes when the calculations come in, it may be just under and it may be just over,” said Elmar Kiefer, Hanover Town Accountant.

Kiefer explained a law to exceed the 2% cap has been passed numerous times, but the reason it is necessitated this year is because of inflation.

“This time, we’re passing it just because as we finalized the budget, we’re looking at huge increases in electric bills, we’re looking at huge increases in gasoline costs — just like all of us have had,” said Kiefer.

Kiefer said he anticipates less than a 1% increase and the need to pass the law allowing the town to exceed the 2% cap is just to cover themselves so they do not violate the law.

“We’re just covering ourselves in case we need to have a little bit more to cover those costs that are increasing in our budget, just like they are increasing in your own household budget,” said Kiefer.

Kiefer later stated, “To me, anybody who can come close to 2% is doing a good job because of inflation. … I’m sure all of you feel it when you get your gas or groceries or whatever, and we’re no different.”

The minor increase in property taxes might not even be felt at all by residents due to the fact that property values have risen in the past year.

“Exceeding that 2% is not going to be that drastic of an increase just because our property evaluations have gone up.

That is going to offset the increase we are going to have,” said Supervisor Todd Johnson. “Percentagewise, it may look like it is going to be something, but at the end of the day in dollars and cents, it’s going to be minimal.”

The public did not have any questions or comments during the public hearing to adopt the law to surpass the 2% cap. Once the public hearing portion was closed, the Town Board unanimously voted to adopt the resolution to enact the law.

The Town Board then unanimously adopted a resolution for the preliminary budget for the fiscal year of 2023 to be shared and a public hearing to be held on the preliminary budget for the next Town Board meeting on Oct. 11.


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