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United States : ESSEX COUNTY to hold public hearing on 2014 budget.

On 25 November 2013 the Essex County Board of Supervisors is to hold a public hearing on the county's planned 2014 budget, which would override the state tax cap, raising the tax levy by 15%.

County Manager Dan Palmer said the budget is the first step in a plan to decrease its tax levy increases over the next five years. He anticipates the levy increasing by 10% in 2015, then 8% the next year, then 5%. He anticipates the levy increase to be down to 2% by 2018.

The 2014 budget would include $94,917,464 in spending, a 0.09% decrease over 2013. Revenues are expected to increase by 1.74%, to $72,938,431.

Despite revenue growing and spending shrinking, he explained that the tax levy would raise dramatically since the county used $6.8 million in fund balance to decrease taxes this year.

Palmer said, "We don't have it this year to put against it."

County officials felt that the county could just afford to put $3 million from the fund balance toward lowering taxes in 2014.

The largest drop in spending in the proposed 2014 budget is $2.9 million that will not need to be spent on the county nursing home, which is being sold. The largest increase in the proposed budget is the county's health insurance costs, which are anticipated to raise by 15%.

The board will also hold a hearing on 2 December 2013 on a local law that would enable the board to override the tax cap. The override law would need a 60% majority vote of the board to pass.

The board is to have a special meeting on 4 December to make changes to and consider passing the budget. 2013 Al Bawaba ( Provided by an company
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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Nov 25, 2013
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