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Health Insurance Takes Bite Out of Tentative 2022 Mount Pleasant Town Budget

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Mount Pleasant Supervisor Carl Fulgenzi

Mount Pleasant’s preliminary 2022 town budget has a proposed tax levy increase of 2.9 percent as officials look to stay under the tax cap despite a nearly 13 percent spike in health insurance costs for next year.

The $56.5 million spending plan would add two Highway Department workers and one additional Water Department position. There were no cuts made to the town workforce, although many requests from department heads for additional funding were reduced in prior discussions in order to remain under the tax cap.

As a result of the challenging fiscal environment that was intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic, the town will be using $2 million in fund balance next year, said Supervisor Carl Fulgenzi. That was more than the supervisor said he had hoped to appropriate but there would still be a robust sum in case of future emergencies.

Despite the obstacles, Fulgenzi complimented department heads who did their best to help the town try to keep spending in check for next year.

“I have to say most of the department heads were apprised of the situation and watched their money,” he said.

However, the sharp 12.8 percent increase in health insurance premiums will cost the town about $300,000 more next year than previously anticipated. The town was expecting a hike of closer to 7 percent, Fulgenzi mentioned.

The cost of a family plan for a full-time employee now costs rough $30,000 a year. Most employees pay 25 percent of their premiums, which are deducted from their paychecks.

Comptroller Brian Kenneally said although officials will rely on fund balance to help balance the budget, Mount Pleasant has plenty of money in its reserve funds to handle that move. Currently, the town has $17.5 million in funds available before committing the $2 million toward balancing the 2022 budget.

Under the currently proposed preliminary budget, the town’s tax levy for next year would be $30,925,471, $191,3000 under the cap, Kenneally said.

For a homeowner in the Kensico Water District, which is the largest part of the town, residents whose homes are assessed at the town average will see about a $40 increase in town taxes next year, he said.

The Town Board is holding a public hearing on the preliminary budget Tuesday evening during its regularly scheduled Town Board meeting. The meeting is set to begin at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

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