The budget first proposed put the Town of Saugerties over the cap on spending mandated by New York State, Supervisor Fred Costello said at the board’s regular meeting on Wednesday, November 16. The board and department heads “put a lot of hard work into the budget, and were able to bring it below the cap,” he said. “I am grateful for the Town Board’s input, and the residents who took time to share their thoughts with us and I am very grateful to the department heads.”
The budget reduces the tax rates significantly, along with increased assessments, Costello said, bringing the rate below the cap.
However, at the meeting the board made two further cuts. The Arts Commission and the Historic Preservation Commission were each cut by $7,500. The board voted to approve the final budget as amended.
The budget called for total spending in the major areas of the budget, town wide, town outside the village and highway, along with the library, the library capital fund and the ambulance service of $13,589,907, not counting the cuts made during the meeting. This leads to a tax rate of 5.86 per $1,000 of valuation compared to this year’s 6.82. However, on the average tax bills will be larger than last year for most residents because the assessed values have increased. The average assessment in 2020 was $235.829; the average assessment in 2021 is $275,486. The owner of property assessed at the average in 2020 is #1,113; the average homeowner in 2021 will pay $1.116 as a result of increased housing valuation, according to the values listed on the original tax bills.
Because village residents do not pay the part-town (town outside the village) expenses or the highway expenses, their town tax rate is lower; they pay $4.05 per $1,000 in 2021 compared with $4.72 in 2021. Similar to town residents, their tax will likely increase because of increased home valuation, with an average taxpayer’s bill increasing from $1,113 in 2020 to $1,116 in 2021.
These figures do not reflect the changes agreed to at the meeting on November 16, which will lower taxes, but not by a significant amount, Costello said. The town’s accountant will go over the figures and check final numbers, Costello said.