Saugerties village plans to reduce taxes slightly

Taxpayers in the village will get slightly reduced property taxes this year if the value of their home is the same as last year. The total assessed value in the village increased as the result of new construction.

Spending in the 2019-2020 budget totals $2,344,897. Income from all sources is projected at $2,279,897 (up about $20,000 in the previous fiscal year). There is a $65,000 fund balance, the result, mayor Bill Murphy said, of frugal spending through the year. 

The tax rate per $1000 of assessed value is projected at $6, down slightly from $6.04 this fiscal year. For the owner of a $200,000 home, the reduction would amount to $8, Murphy said – assuming that the assessed value has remained the same.

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The mayor’s salary of $10,200 will remain the same as this year, as will the trustees’ salaries of $3600 each.

While the regular state aid for highway funding remains the same as last year at $50,000, the state’s CHIPS program will be cut from $111,113 to $54,000. This will mean the village will have less to spend on road improvements. The impact may be reduced a bit through a shared services agreement with the town and county, Murphy said. “We’ll do as much as we can with what we’re getting,” he said.

One bright spot is a probable increase in so-called AIM (Aid Incentive for Municipalities) funding from an estimated $20,000 to $28,687 on the latest figures from New York State.

The budget calls for $1,740,997 to be raised by property taxes. Property values overall in the village, partly the result of new construction, have increased.

A $16,330 increase in funding for fire department equipment will cover a second car for the village’s fire chiefs. One of the chiefs’ aging vehicles was replaced last year, and this year’s funding covers another. “They do a lot for us, and not just fighting fires,” said Murphy. “They do this without pay, and I feel we should give them what they need.”

Only one person turned up for a public hearing on the budget on Monday, April 1. The village board will accept written comments up to its next meeting on April 15, when members expect to approve a final budget.

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