The Town of Saugerties adopted the 2017 budget, which exceeds the State tax cap, by a 4-1 vote. The budget will increase property taxes for village residents by 4.6% and by 3.5% for town residents. Property taxes for the General Fund, controlled by the Town Board, will increase by 4%.
The most controversial changes were 10% cuts to the Boys & Girls Club & Historical Society. Town officials said funding to these groups may be phased-out over a 10-year period.
SUMMER REC PROGRAM FACING EXTINCTION
The Board added $33,500 to the revenue line for the Summer Recreation Program to eliminate an expected deficit. This program has been losing money for several years. Town officials said the program may be cut by the Board in 2017 if the deficit cannot be offset by new, non-property tax revenues. Or, the Board can decide next year to keep the program & absorb the loss - which would be a back door tax increase.
The Board made adjustments to the tentative budget which had a total budget impact of $115,800 - $80,000 of which came from positive adjustment of retirement expenses. The Board offset Police spending by $50,000 to account for an increase in employee benefits.
Budget highlights include (Note -Saugerties residents will pay different tax amounts depending on the special taxing districts where they live):
- Police - Spending up 3.1%, Police Payroll up 4.3%
- Diaz Ambulance - property taxes up 19%. Diaz is a separate taxing district but counts against the tax cap. Town officials attribute increase to decrease in Obamacare reimbursements.
- Parks - Spending down 1.6%, Town Board did not fill vacancies
- Building & Grounds - Spending Up 1.7%
- Highway - Property Taxes up 1.3%
- Health Insurance - Spending Up 28.7%
- Transfer Station - Spending down 9.6%
To view the 2017 budget, click here.