continued “If you want to have it as a tool, you must get the ball rolling as far as putting it as a local law on the agenda,” Cuevas said. “It doesn’t mean the board needed to adopt it.”
When it came time for Koetzle to address the crowd and the board, he explained that what the board was doing was merely trying to prevent the town from going into a more harrowing economic condition. He said what has prevented taxes from going up in the past was the amount the board would dip into the fund balance. In 2010, the town allocated $1.3 million. That number was reduced the following year by $200,000 to $1.1 million. This year, he said the town is proposing to reduce the number again by $350,000, which would have the town allocating only $850,000.
He said he also asked Town Comptroller George Phillips to project out 5 years as to what the town’s financial situation would be. Koetale said while health insurance costs are $1.8 million now, they could be $3 million in 2017. Retirement is projected to go from $1 million to $1.3 million, contractual expenses would go up from $2.5 million to $3 million and salaries would go from $5.5 million to $6 million. With all of this happening, he said revenue were only expected to go from $5 million to $5.3 million.
“This is why we’re protecting the town against long term implications of the fund balance drying up,” Koetzle said. “It’s why we made the decision to back off the fund balance as opposed to providing tax relief because I believe we’re going to get hit hard.”