Prop­erty tax levy ris­ing by 4% next year

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

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.


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