Early predictions point to 4 percent budget increase next year

NORWICH – Chenango County legislators predict a levy increase of about $858,500 for 2008, just shy of 4 percent. The preliminary figure compares with a .43 percent decrease last year.

Though still early in the budgeting process, the approximately $23 million needed from local taxpayers is topped by increases for social services, up $475,500; highways, up $317,000; and community colleges, up $200,000.

Chenango County Treasurer William E. Evans said the tentative local share was calculated using $1 million of applied surplus from the general fund, the same amount that was applied last year. The amount of applied surplus from the highway fund increased by $645,000.

Next year’s spending plan is still in the works as lawmakers have a handful of budgets left to be reviewed. Last year’s overall spending plan was $74.5 million.

Chenango County Sheriff Thomas J. Loughren’s budget, though not formally approved, was calculated by combining two former units into one Public Safety Building Corrections budget of $962,106. The Sheriff’s spending plan and revenue lines will undergo further scrutiny tomorrow at a meeting of the Safety & Rules Committee.

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