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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, September 30, 2010

Guilderland super says
No tax hike with $31M town budget

By Anne Hayden

GUILDERLAND — The general town tax rate will not increase in 2011, according to Supervisor Kenneth Runion, who filed the preliminary budget on Wednesday, one day before the state-mandated deadline.

The supervisor’s budget shows spending t just over $31 million; the total for 2010 was just under $31 million. The slight increase in spending can be attributed to state requirements for municipalities to make additional contributions to the retirement system, said Runion.

The general tax rate will remain the same as the 2010 rate, which is 26 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. For a house assessed at $200,000, the annual tax would be $52.

“In 11 years, I have only had one budget that increased the tax rate, and that was only by one cent per $1,000,” said Runion.  He said the pension contribution increase will not affect the tax rate, because the roughly $400,000 is spread across a variety of funds, including water, sewer, and highway.

There will be no increase in the highway tax, and the water and sewer tax rates will both increase, by less than 1 percent, Runion said. In order to further keep costs down, there will be no salary increases for town employees in 2011, with the exception of employees entitled to a longevity bonus. (For the full story, go online to www.altamontenterprise.com and look under Guilderland archives, Sept. 9, 2010.)

The supervisor held the first of at least two budget workshops on Sept. 23; the next one is on Oct. 14, at Town Hall, starting at 7:30 p.m. The department heads are expected to appear at the workshops to present their budget requests. The assessor, court clerk, and town clerk discussed their budgets at the September meeting, and Runion said the changes between 2010 and 2011 were negligible.

The town clerk’s budget reflected an increase of $3,000, which Runion said is the result of the new dog licensing fee procedure; the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets is ending its dog-licensing database as of Jan. 1, 2011, leaving municipalities to maintain the information, and to set up whatever systems, if any, they choose to license dogs. The database maintenance will result in $3,000 of overhead cost for the town, but, according to Runion, it will be “a wash” because the town will keep the revenue generated by the licensing fees.

The budget is available to the public online at www.townofguilderland.org.

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