CHAUTAUQUA - The town of Chautauqua is proposing a tax rate three times its current rate in the 2013 budget.
On Tuesday, the Chautauqua Town Board scheduled a public hearing on the 2013 proposed spending plan for 4 p.m. on Nov. 1. Don Emhardt, town supervisor, after the meeting, told the proposed budget has increased this year. He said the total 2013 budget is $3,298,108.
The supervisor said the tentative tax levy is expected to go up to around $540,000. The tax levy this year was around $180,000. The tax levy is the amount of money raised through property taxes.
The tax rate per thousand dollars assessed property value is proposed to be 21 cents, up from 7 cents per $1,000 this year.
Emhardt said one reason for the increase is because of workman's compensation cost being added to the town's budget. This year, county officials will be billing towns rather than doing a chargeback. The county eliminated chargebacks of workmen's compensation after a state audit showed $69,000 in tax cap overrides. Because chargebacks were not included as part of its tax levy calculations, the county went over its limit. As a result, towns now will be billed directly from the county, as is the current practice for villages and cities. In turn, towns will need to increase their tax levy to make up the difference.
"It is based on assessed property value so we really get hit," he said with the town of Chautauqua having close to a billion dollars in assessed property values.
Emhardt said the increase also comes from state funding being cut. He said in the last three years, the town has lost about $300,000 in state aid. The supervisor also said sales tax revenue is down, as well.
The Chautauqua Town Board already has voted to override its tax cap due to the shift in costs.
In other town business, a public hearing will be held at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, to discuss a law to add playhouses to zoning code rules. The town's zoning code currently doesn't address playhouses. A resident in the town had inquired about playhouse regulations, which led to the board discussing possibly adding the structure it its zoning code. Joel Seachrist, town attorney, has an example of a proposal for playhouse zoning code regulations. The proposal said a playhouse would have to be limited to 120 square feet and no higher than 6 feet tall.