County predicts tax levy decrease

NORWICH – Chenango County’s legislators learned on Thursday that a projected 2007 levy of $22.5 million would be down, on average, by 4 percent.

A whole host of local, state and federal variables remain “lingering about,” as one town supervisor described.

The decrease is largely the result of the federal government’s cap last year on the state’s Medicaid payments. Because members of the Financial Committee don’t expect it to stay in place, they have agreed to set aside $350,000 of the $1.35 million in surplus that they would otherwise have applied to help balance the 2007 budget.

“We need to build in a balancer, if you will, for when the cap goes away,” Chenango County Treasurer William Evans said. And if it doesn’t, the amount would help “work the budget back to a more comfortable applied surplus level” of less than $1 million per year.

Next year’s anticipated revenues are $52.5 million and recommended appropriations are $76.2 million. General surplus totals $12 million currently.

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