Members Orangetown Town Board showed little optimism that they would be able to keep their tax levy increase below the state-mandated two percent tax cap for the 2013 budget.
Supervisor Andy Stewart presented a tentative budget in September that would include a 9.19% increase, though he and the members of the board expect to get it lower than that.
The town board is targeting Nov. 7 to adopt the 2013 budget, but the councilmen would have to pass an amendment to the town code to allow themselves to approve a budget that exceeds the cap first. The board set a public hearing to discuss such a measure for 8 p.m. Tuesday as part of this week's regular meeting.
One year ago, then Orangetown Supervisor Paul Whalen's tentative budget also called for a tax levy increase that was above the state-mandated cap. , with Whalen and Councilman Tom Diviny and joining then outgoing Councilman Michael Maturo in voting against it. That left the board scrambling to get under the cap at the last minute, which is why the public hearing is being held earlier this year.
Just over a dozen residents spoke out against exceeding the cap at that meeting, so similar comments could be part of Tuesday's meeting. Councilman Denis Troy voted for the amendment that would allow the board to go over the cap a year ago and has said he still thinks the council needs to at least give itself the option. During budget discussions, no members of the board have publicly said they would oppose the override.
The full agenda for Tuesday's meeting is attached to this report. Among other items on the agenda will be a discussion of the proposed Blauvelt Fire District budget for 2013.