JOHNSTOWN - Fulton County officials have cut the county's proposed $88.8 million 2013 budget Thursday to lower the average tax-rate increase from 13 percent to 8.2 percent.
Among the cuts were $35,500 from gas and electric funds and $18,500 worth of equipment expenses, which were moved to the capital fund.
The budget proposal includes a tax-levy increase of 9.4 percent - almost 6.9 percent over the state-imposed 2.52 percent cap on a tax-levy increase. The tax levy is the amount of money raised through property taxes.
The Leader-Herald/John Borgolini
Fulton County Board of Supervisors Chairman Michael F. Gendron reviews county budget figures at a meeting Thursday in Johnstown.
Fulton County Budget Review Committee Chairman Greg Fagan said the county board's goal is not to raise taxes. To attain that goal, the Board of Supervisors would have to reduce the levy by another $2.6 million from the current $30.5 million proposed levy.
"From my perspective, the only thing else is fund balance right now," Fagan said. "I don't see anything else out there that has the amount of money that comes close to that."
The fund balance now stands at $8.4 million, officials said.
Where it stands
Highlights of the current Fulton County budget proposal for 2013 include:
Amount -?$88.8 million.
Proposed average tax-rate increase - 8.2 percent.
Proposed tax-levy increase - 9.4 percent.
"Where we're at right now is still fairly healthy when you compare us to other counties around that have exhausted it," Fagan said.
The budget proposal will go to the Board of Supervisors at the Nov. 13 meeting.
From there, the board will meet two or three times before adopting the final budget. The board may adopt a budget by the end of November.
"It's a process of getting toward a full adoption, by when I'm guessing will be late November or early December," said Michael Gendron, chairman of the county Board of Supervisors.
"As we get to final approval, it will be the best budget the elected officials of Fulton County come up with," he said.
"Let's focus on the good news. We have a county with no debt," he added.
The county overrode the state's tax-levy cap in adopting the $93 million 2012 county budget. The Board of Supervisors on Aug. 13 also adopted a measure giving it the option of overriding the levy limit for 2013.