With total appropriations anticipated to top $4.5 million, Rosendale’s tentative 2017 budget calls for an overall increase in expenditures of 3.74 percent over 2016, counting highway, water and sewer as well as the general fund. Those numbers anticipate a November decision by municipal officials to override governor Andrew Cuomo’s mandated tax cap, which has been set by the state comptroller’s Office at .68 of one percent for Rosendale for the coming year.
“Our town’s in a really bad position,” lamented councilwoman Jen Metzger at the October 5 town board meeting, calling the tax-increase restriction “untenable” in the face of uncontrollable expenses such as the increase in the minimum wage. Councilman Chris Pryslopski admitted that there had been “opportunities to implement efficiencies” at the time that the tax cap first came into effect, but stated that the state mandated had outlived its usefulness: “There’s nothing left to cut at this point.”
Public hearings on both the tax-cap override and the proposed budget were scheduled for the town board’s November 2 workshop meeting. One line item that might raise a few taxpayer eyebrows is an increase of nearly eleven percent in the town supervisor’s salary: from $74,590 in 2016 to $82,650 in 2017. Councilmembers’ salaries would stay flat and the highway superintendent’s nearly so, while the town clerk and justices would receive significant pay increases.