Despite Cuts, Mount Pleasant's Budget Raises Taxes

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Town Board member Carl Fulgenzi and Town Supervisor Joan Maybury have constructed Mount Pleasant's 2013 preliminary budget. Photo Credit: Robert Michelin

VALHALLA, N.Y. - Even with cuts to town employees, Mount Pleasant will still raise taxes by around $31 for the average home assessed at $9,200 in the preliminary budget for 2013.

Mount Pleasant Town Supervisor Joan Maybury said that the town was left with very few options to cut the budget, which features a 5.1 percent tax-levy increase and overrides the state-mandated tax cap of 2 percent. 

"We really didn't have a choice, with all of the increases in expenses for things like medical insurance and pension costs," Maybury said. 

The $40 million budget includes cuts in staffing expenses to the Highway, Sewer and Water departments. In total, the town of Mount Pleasant will eliminate three full-time positions and transfer another three full-time positions to part time. 

The 2013 budget is the first time in two years that Mount Pleasant was unable to stay under the two percent state-mandated tax cap. Last year, Mount Pleasant was able to lower taxes for most residents in town by about $28 in an average assessed house. 

As pension and insurance costs continue to rise, Maybury said she believes the days of putting together a fiscally responsible budget without making major cuts is a thing of the past. 

"I don't see it getting better anytime soon," Maybury said. "It's getting to a point where our government is going to have a tough time rectifying these cuts." 

The preliminary budget has not been adopted by the Town Board, however, Maybury said that there are no further cuts on the horizon. The budget will be adopted at a Town Board meeting that has yet to be determined.

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