JAY - Jay taxpayers will see a slight increase in their town tax in 2011, as the amount to be raised by taxes will rise 1.7 percent. Total appropriations are up 1.3 percent over the 2010 spending plan.
The 2011 budget includes three water districts, the Au Sable Forks sewer district, the Au Sable Forks ambulance (in which serves the entire town and the town has a contract with), three fire districts, the general fund, and the highway fund.
Property tax values have increased $3,674,760 from 2010 ($247,919,023.00) to 2011 ($251,592,783.00).
The tax rate in the general fund will rise to $2.46 per thousand in 2011, compared to $2.43 per thousand in 2010. The highway tax rate will rise from $3.13 per thousand in 2010 to $3.14 per thousand in 2011.
The tax rate for each individual tax payer will vary depending on which water, sewer, or fire district they reside in.
The 2011 budget offers no salary increases for any town of Jay elected or appointed officials or employees and all part -time employee hours will remain the same as in 2010.
Jay Supervisor Randy Douglas said, "During these difficult financial times, I proposed that the town of Jay abstain from any wage increases for 2011 and the town of Jay Board unanimously agreed. Although I struggled with this decision, it was the fiscally responsible thing to do."
"The town of Jay is very fortunate to have the quality employees that we do," Douglas said. "Their dedication goes beyond their scheduled working hours. Some of our highway employees take it upon themselves to swing by our highway garage off the clock to put down trees within our right-a-way in our wood boiler. Our employees understand the savings this wood boiler provides their department, and go above and beyond to support their DPW/HWY Director Chris Garrow and his dedication to look out for the best interest of his constituents."
Douglas further stated, "Overall, the budget increased from $2,603,315 in 2010 to $2,635,665 in 2011; an increase of $32,350. Overall this is not too bad when the town of Jay's increase to the NYS Retirement System increased $32,629 up from $70,827 in 2010 to $103,456 in 2011."
"The total two year increase from 2009 to the town is $66,675.00. In 2009, Jay's NYS retirement share cost was $40,505.00," he said.
Budget Officer Susan Richards said, "As in every budget year, our job is to look at each line item in our appropriations and revenues and determine whether or not we are operating in a fiscally responsible manner and still managing to meet the needs of our constituents. With the rise of New York State mandates, we are forced to increase appropriations and make adjustments in other areas of the overall budget in order to keep taxes reasonable. This is a very difficult task."
The town of Jay is also increasing their rental income to help offset the community center building costs.
Health insurance cost rose 10 percent from $171,442.68 to $191,754.48; an increase of $20,311.80. In 2007, the town implemented an annual employee/retire contribution rate based on an employee's date of hire. The employee/retiree contribution percentages range from 10 to 50 percent of the total cost for health insurance. This cost saving measure helped the town offset financial health care crisis our nation is faced with.