Even if a town is planning to be below the 2 percent tax levy limit allowed by the state of New York, it would be a good idea to pass a local law overriding the limit.
That was what Essex County Attorney Daniel Manning and County Manager Daniel Palmer told members of the Essex County Board of Supervisors who were in attendance during the Oct. 17 block of committee meetings at the Elizabethtown Government Center.
“I recommend that you start the process now if you want to override the cap,” Manning said about the towns having the local override in place before town 2012 budgets were due to be passed next month. “You have to introduce the law, then have a public hearing and a meeting to vote on the override.”
“I would think that this discussion on the tax cap alone would make people realize that they should override the cap so you can cover yourself in case mistakes are made in the math,” Palmer said. “The comptroller’s office will not be looking at the final numbers for five years, so if you make that mistake in the first year, it will be compounded into all of your budgets that follow and you are on the hook unless you have the override in place.
“I would recommend that you do this whether you plan to go over the tax cap or not,” Manning said.
Jay Supervisor and County Chairman Randall “Randy” Douglas said that they have already started the process in his town, where Manning also acts as town attorney.
Keene Supervisor William “Bill” Ferebee said that he understood the need to put an override on the record, but that he hoped it would not keep people from trying to come in under the tax levy cap.
“I understand that we are doing this in order to put it on the books,” Ferebee said. “I hope that we do continue to look at cutting wherever we can.”