By Cady Kuzmich
Clifton Park – The town’s proposed budget for 2017 carries no general fund tax, while the town highway tax will rise slightly and the emergency services tax rate will fall.
Spending in the $16.8 million tentative budget is $111,884 less than the budget adopted in 2016, according to a press release Tuesday from Supervisor Phil Barrett.
“The 2017 budget continues our commitment to ensure Clifton Park remains one of the lowest taxed municipalities in New York state within our peer group,” Barrett said.
He credited, in part, continuing development in the Northway Exit 9 area as well as diversification of the tax base for the town’s ability to keep taxes low.
The town’s highway spending under the proposal would be $5,619,250, an increase of $100,308 from 2016. For a home assessed at $250,000, the 2017 highway tax would be $37, up $2.29 from 2016. The town expects to continue investing “heavily in infrastructure projects involving roadways, drainage and stormwater systems,” according to the release.
The budget also includes purchase of an unspecified number of vehicles.
In his press release, Barrett noted that the highway tax in Clifton Park was 87 cents per $1,000 of assessed value 16 years ago. The tentative 2017 budget highway tax would be 25.5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, up from 23.9 cents in 2016.
Barrett noted the budget does not take into account the potential savings from the recently installed solar field at the town’s capped landfill. He did not indicate the size of those expected savings and did not include a copy of the proposed budget with his Tuesday press release.
The budget includes money to cover salary increases for town employees covered by union contracts.
Town employees who are members of two Civil Service Employee Association bargaining units will receive a 2.5 percent, with a 2 percent raise for management employees.
The EMS tax rate will decrease from 28.1 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to 26 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. A home appraised at $250,000 would see its EMS tax drop from $39.34 to $36.72 under the tentative 2017 budget. The town attributes the decline in EMS tax rate to the growing tax base and the success of the medical industry in Clifton Park.
“The new Community Care Physicians building on Route 9 is the latest healthcare expansion, which has provided important medical services close to home for Clifton Park residents,” according to the town’s statement.