Saugerties propertyowners will see a 5.25 percent increase in the local taxes if the proposed $6.822-million operating budget for 2017 is approved. Last year’s adopted operating budget of $6.393 million.
Because of the increase, the town board voted to exceed the state-dictated tax cap.
The board is scheduled to vote on the proposed spending plan at its November 16 meeting at the senior center.
When preliminary budget numbers were calculated, said councilman Fred Costello, “We could see that we would have to exceed the state allowable tax cap, which is about .73 percent over last year’s budget.” The proposed increases in health insurance, the cost of the contract with Diaz Ambulance services for residents, and contractual obligations to town employees drove this year’s budget increases, Costello added.
To support the spending plan, town propertyowners will pay a tax rate of $4.07 per $1000 of assessed property valuation, an increase over last year’s rate of $3.87 per $1000 of valuation. Village propertyowners will pay $5.05 per $1000 of property valuation, up from last year’s rate of $4.78.
Last year’s bill of $602,520 for Diaz Ambulance has increased to $719,150. The town rate will be $0.34 per $1000 of property valuation and $0.40 for village taxpayers.
The items with substantial increases include:
- Police budget went from $2,356,163 last year to $2,478,438.
- Retirement employee benefits from 2016’s $801,682 to a proposed $907,626.
- Workers Comp went from $116,087 to $124,689.
- Health insurance, which includes medical and dental for non-contract employees, rose from $890,742 to $1,099,256.
- Road maintenance went from $1,768,138 up to $1,841,158.
- The highway department’s health insurance, which includes medical and dental, rose from $288,464 to $356,864.
The budget can be viewed on the town’s web site at www.saugerties.ny.us.