AuSABLE FORKS - The town of Jay's total tax levy would go up 1.75 percent in the proposed 2011 budget.
Overall proposed spending is $2,635,665, a $32,350 or 1.25 percent increase over this year's, due largely to increases in state retirement and insurance costs.
The combined tax rates for the highway and general funds would increase from $5.56 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2010 to $5.60 in 2011. This translates into a $560.41 bill for a $100,000 home, a $4.31 increase. The total property tax levy was $1,820,903.82 and would be $1,852,398.90 for 2011.
People's final tax bills will vary based on which water, sewer or fire district they're in, as well as changes in the taxable value of their homes. The proposed budget's fire district taxes would go down slightly in the Jay and Upper Jay fire districts, down more sharply - by $25.35 for someone with a $100,000 home - in the AuSable Forks district.
The Jay Fire District, which covers more than half of the town's taxable value, would have the lowest 2011 tax at $72.47 for a $100,000 home, followed by $102.40 for AuSable Forks. Upper Jay has the highest fire district tax bill at $138.65 for a $100,000 home. The entire town is in the ambulance district; this tax bill would increase 45 cents to $31.80 for a $100,000 home.
The tax bill for the AuSable Forks sewer district would rise sharply - from $14.92 to $98.73 for a $100,000 home. Town Supervisor Randy Douglas said this is because there are three pumping stations that need significant upgrades, and also because the town is in the middle of negotiating with the town of Black Brook over their sewer contract. The sewer district only services AuSable Forks; the rest of the town's residents have septic systems or dry wells.
The AuSable Forks, Jay and Upper Jay water district taxes would be $38.55, $34.04 and $33.32, respectively, for a $100,000 home. This represents an increase of $8.47 for AuSable Forks and $3.01 for Jay, a decrease of 75 cents for Upper Jay. Only district water users pay these.
The bonds and interest for the district, which are paid by all residents, not just water users, are down between 2 and 5 percent for all three districts. In AuSable Forks, it would be $46.74 for a $100,000 in 2011; it would be $104.40 for Jay and $186.35 for Upper Jay.
The overall assessed value of property in the town has increased by about $3.7 million from $247.9 million to $251.6 million.
A public hearing on the proposed budget will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the town Community Center in AuSable Forks.
The town's increase to the state retirement system alone was $32,629, going from $70,827 in 2010 to $103,456 in 2011. It went up sharply for 2010 as well; it was only $40,505 in 2009. The town's 2011 health insurance costs, at $191,754.48, are up 10 percent.
"I am very happy to say that as you can see by the numbers, that everyone worked together with the town board to make the impact as minimal as possible to the taxpayer," Douglas said in a press release. "Many departments, contract agencies, employees and emergency services are being asked to do more with less and I really appreciate their efforts on behalf of the town of Jay taxpayers."
The budget includes no raises for any town officials or employees, and the hours of part-time employees will remain the same as in 2010. Douglas praised the town's employees' dedication. For example, about half of the highway department's employees live on Valley Road, where the garage is, and during the winter they'll come in when they're not working to make sure the wood boiler at the garage, which the town bought a few years ago to save money on fuel, is still going.
"Our employees understand the savings this wood boiler provides their department, and go above and beyond to support their (Department of Public Works Director/Highway Superintendent) Chris Garrow and his dedication to look out for the best interest of his constituents," Douglas said.
The town's estimated revenues for sales and mortgage tax, and to the highway department for work done for the state and Essex County, are up this year. Douglas said the town has been underestimating these budget lines for the past few years.
Contact Nathan Brown at 891-2600 ext. 26 or firstname.lastname@example.org.