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Concord wants state to return to 2 percent tax cap

Concord Town Board members want the state government to return the cap on tax levy increases to 2 percent to let the town account for inflation in its budget.

The Town Board voted to send a request to state legislators March 10 to raise the cap to its previous level of 2 percent. For 2016, the town could not hike its tax levy, the amount collected in property taxes, by more than 0.73 percent.

Rising expenses force many towns and villages to exceed the cap. Supervisor Gary Eppolito criticized state legislators for failing to understand municipalities’ struggles.

“The vast majority of those people in Albany who make these laws have never done a budget,” he said.

In the request, board members also asked for capital projects to be removed from the tax levy cap.

When the state calculates tax levy increase limits, it excludes capital projects for school districts but includes them for municipalities.

In another matter, the board authorized the use of CodeRed, a messaging system that alerts residents about storms, flooding and other emergencies.

For the next year, the town will share the system’s $8,500 cost with the Village of Springville and Town of Sardinia.

The system sends recorded telephone messages to residents and businesses and offers scheduled calls to check on children and the elderly. Text and email messages can also be sent.

Board members also scheduled a public hearing about a proposed communications tower on Allen Road in East Concord for 6:30 p.m. April 14 before the next board meeting at 7 p.m.