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County budget hearing to be held this Thursday

County budget hearing to be held this Thursdayby Carol Thompson

The Oswego County Legislature will hold a special meeting and several public hearings Thursday at the Oswego County Government Office complex located in the City of Oswego.

Residents will have the opportunity to comment on the proposed 2013 budget, which is expected to come with a tax increase for property owners.

The draft tax levy was at  $45,776,060 a few weeks ago. It may have been lowered somewhat as budget information was passed out at a recent committee meeting, however, it was not shared beyond the legislators.

Because the assessed valuation is down, the rate per thousand will go up unless the legislature can make some significant cuts. Democrat legislators said Legislature Chairman Fred Beardsley has reached out to them for input.

The Democrats have suggested eliminating all of the non-essential deputy positions. Many had been previously eliminated, however, some have been returned.

Another suggestion is to eliminate the most recent 20 positions created. Also under consideration is the elimination of a $1,000 benefit the 25 legislators are eligible for to pay for uninsured medical expenses.

The legislature will also use reserve funds to offset a large property-tax increase.

The reason for the decrease in the tax levy is due in large part to a court case won by Oswego Harbor Power, LLC.

To read the rest of the story, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397
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