Spending Plan Calls For Tax Hike, Changes At Airport

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The numbers are in.

Jefferson County has unveiled its proposed budget for next year.

The plan calls for just under a tax increase at just under 2 percent for property owners.

County Administrator Robert Hagemann says it's only the second hike of its kind in a decade.

"It's more because of the revenues that have not come to fruition the way we thought they might. Sales tax being that primary example," said Hagemann.

To make up for lost revenue, the county plans to rely on property owners more with the tax levy, or the total amount to be raised by property taxes, increasing by a little over 3 percent.

What does it mean for your tax bill?

A $100,000 home that pays $643 in county taxes this year will pay $13 more next year.

But there's more.

The plan also calls for a change in security at the Watertown International Airport.

Essentially, out with the sheriff's department and in with the probation department.

"One issue is TSA has dropped a lot of the money that was reimbursing the sheriff's department for security at the airport," said county Undersheriff Paul Trudeau.

"We're not going to take a probation officer and assign them to the airport for security purposes. We're using the department under the guise of that type of a setup to allow us to likely hire retired law enforcement officers," said Hagemann.

These are all recommendations that will be debated in the weeks ahead.

A public hearing on the proposed budget is set for November 12.

The spending plan won't be final until the full board of legislators approves it.

See our earlier report

Monday, September 1, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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