Manlius Town Board overrides tax cap

— The Manlius Town Board approved a local law to override Gov. Cuomo’s 2 percent tax cap at their meeting Wednesday, Sept. 26.

“At this point we really don’t even know whether we have to override it or not, but we don’t want to be put in the same position we were last year where at the last minute we were trying to figure out whether we over the 2 percent cap or not because of the newness of the law,” said Town Attorney Tim Frateschi.

Last year, the town board was forced to override the cap late in the budget cycle because of the Fayetteville Fire Department’s capital improvement plan, which brought the tax levy increase in that protection district to 4.53 percent. The overall tax levy increase for the town remained below 2 percent in the other two fire districts.

“It was unusual,” Town Supervisor Ed Theobald said. “You can’t really control a district. It’s out of the control of the budget.”

Theobald said the town is overriding the tax cap to avoid being fined by the state, should the state perform an audit and find an error that would put the town’s tax levy increase above 2 percent.

“I’ve discussed this with other supervisors and many of the ones I spoke with feel the same way, that even though they believe they’re not going to be over the 2 percent cap, their concern, as would be ours, is the state can find something that can actually get us over the tax cap,” Theobald said.

In order to override the cap, municipalities must have at least 60 percent board approval. The town board’s vote was unanimous.

The board will present the preliminary budget for 2013 during a public hearing slated for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24.

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