In what is being called a ”procedural move,” Jamestown City Council has passed a law to exceed the state’s tax levy cap.
On Monday, the council voted to pass the local law to override the state’s tax levy cap. Anthony Dolce, Ward 2 councilman, said the move is mainly being done in case there is a clerical error in the budget and it is discovered city officials have mistakenly exceeded the state’s tax cap. The law was also passed last year by the council, but the city’s budget was under the 2 percent tax levy cap.
”We’re committed to doing whatever we can to not use this,” Dolce said. ”Last year, we passed it, but did not use it. We did not exceed 2 percent.”
Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi said, after the council meeting, the city’s tax cap for the 2014 budget is 1.6 percent. He said several variables factor into the tax cap like the consumer price index. The property tax levy cap law went into effect in 2011. Under this law, the growth in the property tax levy, the total amount to be raised through property taxes charged on the municipality’s taxable assessed value of property, is capped at 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less.
Teresi said the challenges in preparing next year’s budget are the same they have been the last several years. He indicated the costs of health insurance, workers’ compensation and retirement buyouts as a few of the challenges in the 2014 budget.
A public hearing has been scheduled at 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, in the police training room on the fourth floor of City Hall on the tax cap override. Teresi said now with the council passing the tax levy cap override, a public hearing needs to be held before the mayor can sign or veto the law.
Teresi is scheduled to release his executive budget at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, in the mayor’s conference room on the fourth floor of City Hall. The city’s budget is due Dec. 1.