Tax levy up less than 1 percent in budget
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.