Fulton County adopts new budget
Following a public hearing, the Fulton County Board of Supervisors adopted the 2013 budget. And as YNN's Maria Valvanis explains, taxpayers at Monday's meeting were not thrilled.
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JOHNSTOWN, N.Y. -- "Hardships are hardships, but you've got to remember taxpayers are taking hardships too," said Johnstown resident, Ron Drzewicki.
The Board of Supervisors adopted a budget for the 2013 fiscal year, bringing along with it a 2.4 percent tax increase. The nearly $28.5 million budget stays under the tax cap, but those opposed say any increase, is still too much.
Drzewicki said, "I'm hurting all the way around."
"By the application of an additional $1.8 million from the general fund we were able to reduce the average tax rate per thousand to $11.73," said Board Chairman, Michael F. Gendron.
The budget passed by a 466 to 40 vote. Those against it say their are easy solutions to lower tax levy more.
"We could have taken another $750,000 out of the fund balance to make it a zero percent tax increase, and I think we should give the people here a break," said Charles Potter, City of Gloversville, Ward 4.
But a large portion of the budget is actually out of the county's hands and completely unchangeable.
Gendron said, "The lack of mandate relief makes the process difficult because you have to put in your mandates first."
Chairman Michael Gendron says, mandates make up about 80 percent of the 2013 budget.
The other 20 percent, he says, are what people need.
He said, "They need their roads paved, they need a sheriff's department, they need education, all those things that make a county whole."
Drzewicki said, "I think they're still corners to cut, you've got to do something. I had to cut corners."