COPAKE–Taxpayers here won’t have to dig any deeper to pay their town property taxes next year.
In the final version of the town’s 2013 budget, the amount to be raised by taxes stays flat at $1,161,194.65, literally a 0% change.
Total appropriations in the General and Highway funds are up slightly next year from a total of $1,975,975.65 to $2,002,325.65, a 1.3% rise. But to tip the scales in the other direction, estimated revenues will rise by a little bit more, from $794,781 this year to $816,131 next year, a 2.6% increase.
Proud of the flatline budget the Town Board approved earlier this month, Copake Supervisor Jeff Nayer told The Columbia Paper by phone that though medical expenses will be up by 11% and retirement fund costs will climb by 10%, he, with board approval, moved the $70,000 from the now defunct town police force budget line to other places where it was needed to help offset taxes.
At a November 3 budget meeting following a public hearing marked by heated debate, the board moved in a split vote to cut the Town Court budget by $15,400 from $55,800 this year to $40,400 next year. The 38% slash came in light of a 42% drop in Town Court cases this year as a result of the dissolution of the Copake Police Department. The bulk of the court budget reduction will be in the funds for a fulltime court clerk.
The board meets next on December 13, starting at 6:45 p.m. with a public hearing on a new local law to repeal the 2009 local law that established the full- and part-time court clerk positions.