The Lake George Town Board has endorsed a 2012 budget that calls for a five-cent estimated decrease in taxes — from $2.24 per thousand of assessed valuation in 2011 to $2.19 per thousand in 2012.
The budget, examined and endorsed by the board Sept. 1 at a special meeting, cites townwide appropriations of $2,443,132, with an amount to be raised by taxes of $1,659,532.
The budget calls for utilizing $175,000 out of surplus funds to keep taxes down.
The tax savings, town Supervisor Frank McCoy said, is due in part to the elimination of four positions in town government. These cuts, he said, did not involve terminations as they were due to attrition. The duties accompanying the posts will be picked up by other employees, resulting in leaner local government operations, he said.
Savings were also garnered for 2012 by his administration’s decision to exit the West Brook park project. The taxpayers won’t have to pay the annual bond payment for the land — about $70,000 — plus they will avoid additional expenses associated with park development and maintenance, he said. Savings from exiting the West Brook partnership are estimated to be $211,000 over the next three years in bond payments alone.
An additional $30,000 in savings was gleaned from reduced recurring operational expenses including insurance premiums and utility expenses. A portion of the savings is due to reducing electricity usage in street lighting and town garage lighting, after an energy audit was conducted.
Employee health care premiums, however — forecast to be level with 2011 — have not yet been provided for the town, and they are likely to change the figures slightly, one way or another, McCoy said.
“We are continuing to look for additional ways of relieving the tax burden on our citizens,” McCoy said Sept. 6.