By: Maria Moore
Before the town’s Board of Finance began their consideration of exactly how much of a tax increase they would approve for the budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2011-12 they would present to taxpayers to vote on at the May 3 budget referendum, Chairman Ben Witte started the budget discussion by asking his fellow Board members whether they felt there should be any changes to the budget following the feedback they had received from the Public Hearing. Alesia Kennerson, BOF member, was the only one to comment, saying: “I don’t think we need to make any changes.” See our April 13 report 0.92% Tax Increase For Upcoming Fiscal Year: BOF Proposal.
We thought we’d go back and look at the letters taxpayers emailed to the Board of Finance members on whether there should be a tax increase this year. Of the 28 pieces of correspondence (all emails) from taxpayers that received by the Board of Finance members and that are attached to the March 22 minutes of the Special Board of Finance meeting which began with an opportunity for public comments on the upcoming budget (see our March 24 video Taxpayers Give Input On Budget At Board Of Finance Special Meeting: VIDEO Of Public Comment), we found:
- 26 taxpayers were opposed to a tax increase for the upcoming fiscal year;
- 1 taxpayer supported a tax increase “to maintain the high standards that make New Hartford Public Schools the envy of many towns;”
- 1 taxpayer emailed regarding teachers’ salary increases and did not address the issue of a tax increase (not included below).
Following is what the taxpayers had to say to the Board of Finance. We have blacked out any identifying information from the correspondence; the originals are attached to the March 22 Board of Finance Special Meeting minutes and they are available as part of the public record in the Town Clerk’s office.
Taxpayers opposed to a tax increase in the budget for Fiscal Year 2011-12
Taxpayer in favor of a tax increase in the budget for Fiscal Year 2011-12
Please Note: The above correspondence is that which was submitted as part of the minutes. From the comments made by the BOF members at their March 22 meeting, there was more correspondence received that was not included with the minutes; those taxpayers, according to the BOF members, were also overwhelmingly against a tax increase.