continued During the Town Board meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 21, Koetzle said town department head requests for the 2012 budget placed the tax levy increase around 12 percent if all requests were approved. Koetzle said he has been meeting with department heads and town officials and the budget is moving in the right direction.
From the original requests, he has whittled it down to a 5.7 percent tax levy increase, with outside-village residents holding a 7.2 percent tax levy increase.
The focus for Koetzle before he submits his preliminary budget at the end of the month is to get the budget under the tax cap. Also, he wants to continue “breaking the dependency” on the fund balance usage in the town.
“There is a lot of work to do to get it under [2 percent]. It is a lot of work and there is going to be … a lot of pain in this budget if we did it under [2 percent],” said Koetzle. “My intention is to deliver less than the 2 percent tax cap, not because the Governor said it is what we should do … but because it is what our people in this town want us to do.”
Residents have expressed to Koetzle, he said, they don’t want service cuts and they want the tax cap to be “respected,” but those two goals don’t easily fit together. There is a two-page list of cuts Koetzle said he put together. Some of the major cuts will include staffing, he said, which would result in a drastic change to how town business is conducted.
“The pain is going to be spread equally and evenly,” he said. “It is not the budget I would have wanted to propose, but it is the reality of the world that we are living in.”