Kinderhook readies budget with 2.5% tax rate decrease

 

NIVERVILLE–The Kinderhook Town Board held a special meeting Wednesday, November 7 to review the numbers in the proposed 2013 budget. Supervisor Pat Grattan said that the new budget, with a 2.5% decrease in the tax rate, needs to be finalized by November 30 a month before the new fiscal year begins.

The story on the budget that appears this week in the print edition contained an error about the tax rate change, stating that it would go up rather than down.

The board plans to vote on the budget at the next regular meeting November 19. Though there is little change from last year to next, Mr. Grattan pointed out that health insurance and employee benefits have gone up while the assessed value of properties in the town has gone down.

The supervisor said the spending proposal would increase the budget lines for the Valatie Rescue Squad at a request from the squad for operating costs. The plan also would add funds to the assessor’s line to deal with data collection required by the state. The rescue squad costs went up from $90,212 last year to $136,191. Mr. Grattan said the increase was not for the costs of a new building for the squad, which is located on Route 9H. The Rescue Squad recently came to a board meeting to ask for a new space, saying the service has outgrown their old building.

 

There are 3% pay increases for the town clerk and highway superintendent. Mr. Grattan said that “health insurance benefits [have] gone up dramatically.” In some cases, he said, the increase was 8%.

Mr. Grattan also said his plan would add $100,000 for capital improvement funds, and there would be a little extra money for board’s move to the Martin H. Glynn School Building in the Valatie.

The town and village bought the school building and surrounding property from the school district for $1 and plan to move their offices and the courthouse to that building sometime in the new year. The Town Board will then sell the current town hall in Niverville. Mr. Grattan added about $2,000 to the “Buildings” section of the general budget to cover the cost at the new, larger building.

According to budget documents handed out at the meeting last week that showed line item expenditures and revenues anticipated in 2013, the General Fund expenditures are $928,083, with $464,268 in estimated revenues. The amount to raised by taxes for that fund is $386,815.

Because of the municipal structure of the town, with two incorporated villages within its borders, there is also a line for the General Fund for “Outside Village,” which is $129,901, with estimated revenues of $52,650 and the amount to raised by taxes is $54,251.

The Highway Department budget is $1.4 million, with $1 million expected in revenues, leaving the amount to raised by taxes at $327,448.

The board provided printouts of the budget and on one sheet Mr. Grattan made handwritten notations for The Columbia Paper of the tax rate changes planned for 2013. The newspaper was not able to reach the supervisor by phone after the meeting for clarification of his handwritten notes before the deadline for the print edition.

The 2013 town tax rates paid by residents of Kinderhook and Valatie villages would decrease .8%; the tax rate for town residents who live outside the villages would decrease 2.5%.

The board expects to adopt the budget at the November 19 meeting, which convenes at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .

 

 

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