Town of­fers $20M bud­get

East Greenbush won’t raise taxes, gets high bond rat­ing

Albany Times Union - - CAPITAL REGION - By Ken­neth C. Crowe II

The town’s over­all pro­posed $19.9 mil­lion bud­get for 2019 will not raise taxes and the tax levy is 4.27 per­cent un­der the state prop­erty tax cap limit as the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion has im­proved from where it was rated at junk grade bond sta­tus.

It’s also the first bud­get in about eight years that the town has wiped out its in­ter­fund debt bor­row­ing, Su­per­vi­sor Jack Con­way said.

“Ev­ery sin­gle penny is where it’s sup­posed to be,” Con­way said.

Con­way led the in­sur­gent East Greenbush First slate that op­posed con­struc­tion of a casino in the town. Con­way said elim­i­nat­ing the $2.2 mil­lion in in­ter­fund bor­row­ing over the last three years was sig­nif­i­cant and sat­is­fy­ing be­cause this debt bur­den was part of the ra­tio­nale for the town’s eco­nomic need for the casino. The state se­lected Sch­enec­tady as the site of the Cap­i­tal Re­gion’s gam­bling li­cense, lead­ing to the open­ing of the Rivers Casino and Re­sort.

Con­way de­scribed the three years of spend­ing plans as “putting the fi­nances of the town of East Greenbush on a solid foun­da­tion.”

This is the first year that the town has achieved an in­vest­ment grade bond rat­ing af­ter nearly 10 years. The town re­ceived a rat­ing of Aa3 from Moody’s In­vestors Ser­vice for its $5.3 mil­lion gen­eral obli­ga­tion bond in July.

With 16,473 res­i­dents, East Greenbush is Rens­se­laer County’s most pop­u­lous town. It has the sec­ond largest pop­u­la­tion in the county with only the city of Troy hav­ing more res­i­dents at 50,129, ac­cord­ing to the 2010 U.S. Cen­sus.

The town has not yet re­leased its pro­jected tax rates for 2019 as a re­sult of the re­cently com­pleted town­wide prop­erty re­assess­ment. This will re­sult

in many prop­erty own­ers re­ceiv­ing dif­fer­ent tax bills for 2019 than they were sent in 2018 as a re­sult of their home’s tax as­sess­ments chang­ing.

“Rev­enue pro­jec­tions are con­ser­va­tive while ex­pen­di­tures are care­fully cal­cu­lated to en­sure the con­tin­ued de­liv­ery of es­sen­tial ser­vices. There is not tax in­crease in the t2019 ten­ta­tive bud­get. The amount of to­tal taxes to be levied is the same as last year,” Con­way said in his bud­get to the Town Board.

The pro­posed tax levy is $9,177,300. This is $409,472 un­der the state tax levy limit of $9,586,772.

New spend­ing in the 2019 bud­get call for $110,000 to up­date the town’s com­pre­hen­sive plan by the end of next year; up­dat­ing the HVAC sys­tem at Town Hall; main­tain­ing es­sen­tial ser­vices; and adding a code en­force­ment of­fi­cer. There are no pay raises for elected of­fi­cials.

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