Tax levy up less than 1 per­cent in bud­get

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - STATE NEWS - By Wil­liam J. Kem­ble news@free­manon­

The Ul­ster Town Board has adopted mi­nor changes to a pro­posed $11.26 mil­lion bud­get that will hike the town prop­erty tax levy by less than 1 per­cent in 2017. The re­vi­sions were made Thurs­day fol­low­ing a pub­lic hear­ing that drew no com­ments. The plan in­creases spend­ing by $63,338, or 0.57 per­cent, and the tax levy by $77,451, or 0.93 per­cent, to $8.42 mil­lion.

Town Su­per­vi­sor James Quigley said the changes are largely due to State Health In­sur­ance Pro­gram ex­penses.

“The changes that are be­ing made to the bud­get now re­late to NYSHIP ... which we have no con­trol over,” he said. “NYSHIP is es­sen­tially a self­in­sured pro­gram.”

The overall bud­get adds $28,000 in gen­eral fund ex­penses and $7,700 in high­way depart­ment costs. The plan also sets aside $300,000 for le­gal ex­penses stem­ming from law­suits chal­leng­ing town prop­erty as­sess­ments and an­other $50,000 for the town as­ses­sor to deal with as­sess­ment dis­putes.

Salaries in the bud­get in­clude the su­per­vi­sor un­changed at $44,000; each of four Town Board mem­bers at $10,000; high­way su­per­in­ten­dent at $63,673, an in­crease of $1,249, or 2 per­cent; town clerk at $50,938, up $999, or 2 per­cent; and each of two jus­tices at $42,448, up $817, or 1.96 per­cent.

Other changes in the bud­get are as fol­lows:

• Po­lice wages, in­clud­ing over­time and part-time costs, at $2.22 mil­lion, down $67,930, or 2.97 per­cent.

• High­way Depart­ment wages at $430,247, down $5,010, or 1.15 per­cent.

• State re­tire­ment costs at $226,567, down $8,163, or 3.48 per­cent.

• Po­lice and fire re­tire­ment at $470,033, down $5,529, or 1.16 per­cent.

• So­cial Se­cu­rity con­tri­bu­tions at $280,800, down $2,150, or 0.76 per­cent.

• Work­ers Com­pen­sa­tion con­tri­bu­tions at $113,800, up $2,800, or 2.52 per­cent.

• Hos­pi­tal and den­tal in­sur­ance at $1.01 mil­lion, up $31,850, or 3.24 per­cent.

• Re­tiree hos­pi­tal and den­tal in­sur­ance at $410,600, up $61,170, or 17.51 per­cent.

The Town Board is ex­pected to vote on adopt­ing the bud­get at its Nov. 17 meet­ing at Town Hall.

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