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Village Unveils Budget, Proposes Tax Cap Override

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – Sleepy Hollow trustees are contemplating a tax cap override for its 2012-13 budget even as the recently-released tentative budget proposal would fall within the tax levy limit.

“I'm going to recommend to this board that we override the tax cap,” Mayor Ken Wray said during Tuesday's board of trustees meeting.

The village board unveiled a $14.09 million general expenditures budget recently that would raise the tax rate by 1.19 percent. The 2011-12 amended general expenditures budget totals $13.589 million.

Approximately 42 percent of the proposed budget is delegated to employee benefits and 23 percent covers public safety, which includes the police department, fire department and safety inspections. Approximately 12 percent of the budget has been divided between recreation and the Warner Library.

A public hearing on the proposed budget will continue at the board's next regular meeting on April 10.

The tax cap law limits the tax levy amount that a government or school can raise to approximately 2 percent. Municipal governments can override the cap with 60 percent of its board approving the motion. Sleepy Hollow would need at least five trustees to vote for overriding the tax cap before it can be done.

Although the 2012-13 proposed budget falls within the tax cap, Wray said that he was going to recommend overriding the tax cap to prevent future governments from being punished if the state were to change the rules and decide the village had not stayed within the cap.

“I don't think we can be responsible to future governments by doing that. We have to override the tax cap,” he said.

Trustee Bruce Campbell agreed and said he supported overriding the tax cap because he was in favor of home rule.

“We've done a very good job of knowing our village and keeping taxes low,” he said.

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