CLAYTON The town tax levy will increase by 1.2 percent next year.
The levy, or amount the town will raise through property taxes, will be $941,416, a $9,830 increase over 2012.
Claytons tax rate will remain at $1.37 per $1,000 of assessed value, however, partly because of a $6.9 million overall assessment increase. The town also expects to receive additional sales tax revenue from Jefferson County.
Supervisor Justin A. Taylor said town employees, who accepted a pay freeze in 2012, will get 3 percent raises next year.
Town councilmen, who declined raises since 2007 and took a 5 percent pay cut in 2012, will keep their compensation at $3,040 each next year.
The town approved a tax-cap override but remained under the states 2 percent limit. Mr. Taylor said the town is $20,196 below the projected cap for Clayton.
Claytons general operating budget the towns total spending excluding special districts that are self-funded by users increased by $50,908, or 1.3 percent, to $4,094,494 from 2012. This is due partly to 15 percent increases in health insurance costs and a 7.6 percent hike in retirement costs, Mr. Taylor said.
The highway budget is going down to $1,557,728 from $1,710,174, a roughly 9 percent decrease because the town will leave a few positions vacant and curtail major equipment purchases next year.
Clayton is applying $684,603 from its unappropriated fund balance in 2013 to partially offset the levy. Mr. Taylor said this is $224,443 less than the $909,046 the town took out of its fund balance in 2012.
Over the next several years, Clayton hopes to build up its reserves to a minimum of 15 percent of its budgets so that it can prepare for the unknown variables in the economy, assessments, revenues, expenditure, environmental and natural events, he said.
The town budgeted $2,289,749 for the former Frink site redevelopment namely the construction of a new transient dock facility, which is planned to break ground in 2013 but these funds will be reimbursed through grants and the pending sale of the 8.4-acre property.