Town bud­get hear­ing tonight; tax levy could rise 8.7%

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - WEATHER - By Jay Bra­man Jr. news@free­manon­line.com

A pub­lic hear­ing will be held this evening on the town of Shan­daken’s pro­posed bud­get for 2017, which could in­crease the prop­erty tax levy by as much as 8.7 per­cent.

The hear­ing in sched­uled for 6:30 p.m. at the Town Hall on Route 28 in the ham­let of Allaben.

The size of the tax levy in­crease de­pends on the Phoenicia Li­brary spend­ing propo­si­tion that went be­fore town vot­ers on Tues­day. The bal­lot mea­sure asked vot­ers whether they fa­vored Shan­daken in­creas­ing its an­nual con­tri­bu­tion to the li­brary from $94,000 to $162,000, a jump of 72 per­cent.

Pas­sage of the propo­si­tion would re­sult in the town bud­get in­clud­ing a prop­erty tax levy in­crease of 8.7 per­cent. De­feat would re­sult in a bud­get with a 6.9 per­cent hike in the levy.

Ei­ther way, town of­fi­cials still could cut spend­ing in other ar­eas to bring down the size of the tax levy in­crease.

The Town Board is ex­pected to vote on the bud­get, which ten­ta­tively stands at $5,451,641, im­me­di­ately af­ter tonight’s hear­ing.

Among sig­nif­i­cant in­creases in the bud­get are la­bor costs for the town am­bu­lance de­part­ment, which are ris­ing be­cause of a U.S. De­part­ment of La­bor rul­ing about how em­ploy­ees are to be paid; and work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion costs.

The bud­get also calls for pay hikes for the town su­per­vi­sor and clerk (from $33,300 to $36,000 per year each), the two town jus­tices (from $17,928 to $18,750 each), the high­way su­per­in­ten­dent (from $47,975 to $50,000) and the three tax as­ses­sors (from $33,330 to $34,500 for the chair­man, and from $5,303 to $5,500 for the other two).

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