Property tax levy rising 3.7% next year

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Wil­liam J. Kem­ble news@free­manon­line.com

ROSENDALE >> The Town Board has adopted a $4 mil­lion town bud­get for 2017 that will in­crease spend­ing by 4.1 per­cent and the property tax levy by 3.7 per­cent from this year’s lev­els.

The board voted to au­tho­rize a tax levy in­crease higher than al­lowed by the state in or­der to en­act the bud­get. In­for­ma­tion about the state’s cap for Rosendale was not im­me­di­ately avail­able.

Town Su­per­vi­sor Jeanne Walsh said ex­ceed­ing the cap was nec­es­sary be­cause the town’s fund bal­ance is run­ning low.

She said the town typ­i­cally would have taken $100,000 out of sav­ings to keep the tax levy in check, but “I couldn’t do that any­more be­cause we’re us­ing up our fund bal­ance.”

“Some towns have huge fund bal­ances, so they can keep pulling from that,” Walsh said. “But we didn’t have it, so we just felt that was risky.”

The property tax levy in the 2017 bud­get to­tals $2.89 mil­lion. That’s $100,157 higher than this year’s amount.

Walsh said one fac­tor driv­ing up the bud­get and tax levy is the town will have much more debt next year than usual due to bor­row­ing money to re­place the town’s old swim­ming pool. The debt ser­vice line in the 2017 bud­get is $160,698 com­pared to just $43,613 in 2016.

The new bud­get also in­cludes pay raises for elected of­fi­cials: 4.7 per­cent for the su­per­vi­sor, 2 per­cent for each of the four Town Board mem­bers, each of the two town jus­tices, the high­way su­per­in­ten­dent and the tax col­lec­tor; and 5 per­cent for the town clerk. The bud­get also in­cludes: • $750,309 for em­ployee ben­e­fits, down 1.5 per­cent from 2016.

• $375,972 for road re­pairs, down 8.8 per­cent.

• $162,061 for High­way De­part­ment ma­chin­ery, up 2 per­cent.

• $121,647 for snow re­moval, down 2.7 per­cent.

• $103,900 for safety in­spec­tions, up 24.4 per­cent.

• $84,500 for play­grounds and recre­ation, down 26.2 per­cent.

• $94,050 for youth pro­grams, down 0.4 per­cent.

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