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The Telegram
  • Herkimer works to lower proposed tax increase

  • Herkimer village officials are wrangling with lowering a 9 percent property tax levy in the 2013 - 2014 proposed budget.

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  • Herkimer village officials are wrangling with lowering a 9 percent property tax levy in the 2013 - 2014 proposed budget.
    “It’s high, and we know it’s high, and that’s not acceptable,” Mayor Mark Ainsworth said.
    The budget proposal is about $6.7 million, an increase of $380,250 from last year.
    On top of a 33 percent increase in employee retirement costs and 17 percent increase on health insurance costs, Ainsworth pointed to a loss of about $600,000 in property taxes due to reassessment.
    “We’re getting whacked,” he said. “When a majority of your properties are tax exempt, and (there) are more people getting lower assessments, it creates a bigger burden.”
    Ainsworth said they’re reaching out to police and fire unions to see where they can save money, as well as working with their broker on health insurance costs.
    “We are looking at all avenues,” he said.
    The village has never discussed layoffs, however, Ainsworth said they might eliminate positions through attrition as well as rearrange scheduling on a temporary basis.
    The village has until May 1 to adopt a budget.
    “We will get it down,” Ainsworth said of the tax levy.
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