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Lewis legislative panel recommends tax cap override

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LOWVILLE — Lewis County legislators again may override the state tax cap as a precautionary measure.

The legislative Ways and Means Committee on Thursday voted 3-0 to move forward with such a proposal. The full Legislature still will have to set a public hearing, likely at its Sept. 3 meeting, then adopt the measure at its October meeting.

“It would give us the protection if we have to go over it,” County Treasurer Patricia L. O’Brien told committee members.

While the state tax cap law allows an increase of only 2 percent annually, the legislation allows municipalities to exclude some debt service and growth in pension costs from their calculations.

Lewis County’s cap amount is expected to be at 4.28 percent, allowing for a levy increase of up to $604,000, Mrs. O’Brien said.

County legislators chose to override the cap last year but ultimately adopted a budget that stayed just within state guidelines.

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