Kim Smith Dedham is reporting in the Plattsburgh Press Republican that the freshly-minted property tax cap is creating headaches for budget-makers in Elizabethtown.
Under the new law, Essex County can only boost taxes by a small amount next year, but contractual agreements and other fixed increases area already adding $3.4 million to the budget.
The county is also struggling to find ways to pay for services that the state no longer wants to cover, including a visiting nurses program.
The county’s Property Tax Subcommittee asked [county manager Dan] Palmer to put everything on the budget table: Horace Nye Nursing Home, the number of beds in the nursing home, federal inmate housing, Sheriff’s Department overtime, landfill operations, jobs, streetlights, the fish hatchery and union contracts.
Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava (R-Moriah) said the Civil Service Employees Union for county workers has to come back in to negotiate.
Essex County’s struggles would be interesting by themselves, but this is sure to be a preview of budget battles in every county in the North Country. Read Kim’s full article here.
As always, your opinions welcome.