No tax increase in Amsterdam spending plan

The city’s Budget Review Committee adopted a tentative $23.2 million spending plan for the fiscal ye
PHOTOGRAPHER:

The city’s Budget Review Committee adopted a tentative $23.2 million spending plan for the fiscal year starting July 1 that calls for no increase in the tax rate and decreases in water and sewer rates.

Residents would pay $13.89 per $1,000 of assessed value of their properties. Water rates would decrease by $4.61 to an annual bill of $313.77, and sewer rates would drop $9.14 to $251.84 per unit annually.

Controller Heather Reynicke said the city will collect $4.6 million under the budget from taxpayers, which is the maximum allowed under the city’s self imposed 1 percent tax cap.

Residents will have the opportunity to comment on the city’s proposed budget at a public hearing scheduled for 6:30 p.m. May 13 in the Common Council chambers. Members of the Budget Review Committee have until June 1 to make final changes to the budget.

The Budget Review Committee made a number of minor line item changes late Tuesday on its way to approving the proposed budget. Reynicke said she didn’t how much of a $1 million tax stabilization fund the city would tap to balance the budget. She said the city also has a $1.6 million in undesignated funds.

City Assessor Michael Chiara said he would like to see a decrease in the city’s tax rate considering the total amount of surplus.

Reynicke said she wouldn’t support a decrease in the tax rate because of the city’s self-imposed 3 percent tax cap, which restricts the city’s flexibility from year to year. She said a rebate could be considered by the members of the Budget Review Committee.

The spending plan does not include any major changes. Committee members allocated money for a detective position for the police department, a new part-time aide in the mayor’s office and $50,000 for building repairs at City Hall.

The budget includes $500,000 in capital improvements. Reynicke said the city has already committed to $200,000 from that toward the purchase of three new police vehicles.

Categories: Schenectady County

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