Property tax levy rising by 4% next year
Supervisor Greg Helsmoortel says the increase is being driven by state-mandated expenses.
The Town Board has adopted a $12.45 million town budget for 2017 that increases spending by 3.9 percent and the property tax levy by 4 percent from their 2016 levels.
The increase in the tax levy exceeds the maximum set by the state, which was less than 1 percent. Town Supervisor Greg Helsmoortel said the Town Board had no choice but to authorize going over the cap because mandated expenses made it impossible to comply.
“Without these increases that we have absolutely no control over, we probably would have gone down,” he said.
“We’ve got the state coming down here mediating [union contracts] and a state-provided mediator telling us we cannot get away with less than 2 percent raises,” Helsmoortel said. “Then we’ve got the governor telling us we’ve got a cap of 0.6 [percent] .... ”
The tax levy in the 2017 budget totals $9.85 million, which is $376,391 higher than the 2016 levy.
Salaries for elected officials will remain at their 2016 levels next year: $65,000 for the highway superintendent; $42,000 for the town clerk; $35,000 for the supervisor; $28,250 for each of the two town justices; and $10,000 for each of the four members of the Town Board.
The 2017 town budget also includes:
• $2.4 million for police costs, up 3.1 percent from 2016.
• $1.8 million for road maintenance, up 4.1 percent.
• $1.6 million for employee medical benefits, up 27.2 percent.
• $1.1 million for Highway Department wages, up 1.1 percent.
• $996,228 for town parks, down 1.6 percent.
• $971,962 for buildings and grounds, up 1.7 percent.
• $421,118 for Social Security payments, up 1 percent.
• $310,176 for highway machinery, up 2.4 percent.
• $236,617 for retirement benefits, up 16.1 percent.
• $222,015 for safety inspections, up 14 percent.
• $167,510 for workers’ compensation, up 8.1 percent.