Salem passes 0 percent increase tax levy

Salem electors and the Town Board approved a tax levy for 2012 that represents a 0 percent increase over 2011.

The total levy for general fund, library fund, debt service and capital projects will be $3,419,470 for 2012 — as it was in 2011.

Of those funds, the library levy did see an increase. Salem is part of the Community Library joint library system. The amount levied for the library is not set by the Town Board.

To make up for the $9,984 increase in the mandated library tax levy, the town trimmed the same amount from the general fund.

Electors approved the budget with only one dissenting vote. About 35 people attended the meeting, not including staff, board members and reporters.

The board voted unanimously to adopt the same tax levy.

The only speaker during the public hearing on the budget was Gail Peckler-Dziki. She asked for more transparency in future budgets and for an end to the storm water utility.

Town administrator Patrick Casey explained that the budget includes a 5.5 percent pay increase for non-represented full-time town employees, their first raise in three years. However, the increase was actually a way to keep employees take home pay and benefits about even with what they have been receiving since they will now be contributing 5.9 percent of their pay toward retirement, which the town paid in the past.

In light of a generally good attitude about the lack of increases over the last three years, Casey said he felt an adjustment to make up most of the new retirement contribution was fair.

“I thought it was a thing the town needed to do,” Casey said. “I honestly couldn’t have recommended anything different.”

Even with the pay increase, changes in retirement benefits mean the town will save about $25,000 next year, Casey said.


One Comment

  1. Bob says:

    Did the administrator get a raise during the last three years? How ’bout this year?

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