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Pleasantville Adopts Budget, Stays Within Tax Cap

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- A 2012-13 budget that complies with the state-mandated 2 percent tax cap was unanimously approved by the Pleasantville Village Board on Monday night.

In total, the village's appropriations increased from $13,271,017 to $13,276,568 and the rate increased by 2.87 percent. According to Village Administrator Patti Dwyer, the figures mean a $95 to $96 increase to the average assessed house in Pleasantville. The tax levy for 2012-13 increased from $9,183,440 to $9,444,905.

"We're at the absolute max," said Trustee Jonathan Cunningham. With state exemptions factoring into the final numbers, the 2.87 rate is the highest allowable rate under the cap, according to Dwyer.

Despite an approximate $200,000, or 20 percent, increase in pension and salaries, Dwyer said the approximate $5,000 overall budget increase was possible due to departments working hard to reduce expenditures.

"Even our employees recognize we're under the tax cap. They get it," Dwyer said.

While she does not anticipate a spike in expenditures, trustee Mindy Berard suggested overriding the cap to save the village from a possible reinterpretation of exemption laws by the state that currently allows the district's 2.87 rate increase to fit within the tax cap. Mayor Peter Scherer, though, said he is not worried about a possible reinterpretation.

While the board is confident it will be able to live within the cap for the 2012-13 fiscal year, Cunningham said any future compliance does not seem possible if pension and salary costs continue to rise.

"Ultimately our ability to live within the tax cap will be, in fact, very much dictated by the state," Cunningham said. "If the state's really serious about this tax cap and controlling taxes, they do need to learn how to control their own spending."

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