Proposed Hagaman budget includes big tax hike as sales tax revenue falls

Sales tax shortfalls and rising costs have contributed to a $30,000 shortfall in the village’s budge

Sales tax shortfalls and rising costs have contributed to a $30,000 shortfall in the village’s budget for 2010-2011, according to Mayor Martin Natoli.

Natoli’s proposed $428,500 budget would increase spending by $12,500 and collect roughly $31,700 more from village taxpayers this year.

The spending plan would increase taxes by $5.50 per $1,000 of assessed value. The new tax rate would be $21.80 per $1,000 of assessed value, which means a typical property in Hagaman assessed at $9,000 would pay $196.20 in village taxes.

The town of Amsterdam still does not have a tax, but villagers pay county taxes and school taxes to the Greater Amsterdam School District.

The mayor’s budget proposal will be sent to the Board of Trustees for review and revision before it is adopted, Natoli said. The public is invited to comment on the budget at 6:45 p.m. April 20 at the Village Hall. The village’s fiscal year runs from June 1 to May 31.

A $20,000 reduction in sales tax revenue is the major reason for the tax increase, Natoli said.

Additionally, health insurance costs increased 18 percent, retirement costs increased 8 percent and asphalt and blacktop costs increased 8 percent.

“We have been able to absorb those increases throughout the years, but with the sales tax hitting us this year we ended up with a gap of $30,000,” he said. “The only way to make it up and provide services is to raise taxes.”

Included in this year’s spending plan is money to complete a project on Scenic Road, a dead-end street that runs perpendicular to Scenic Drive. The budget increases the street maintenance line item by $7,300.

Construction of a turnaround began in 2007 but has taken a long time to complete because it is being done in-house by the village’s highway staff — which is one full-time and one part-time employee.

Natoli said the only thing left is to pave the turnaround at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Natoli said the remaining work is expected to cost about $8,600, but there will be money left over in the current year’s budget for the project.

The village won’t take title to the land until the work is complete, Natoli said. The cul-de-sac will be useful for emergency vehicles and as a way for snowplows to turn around without impacting private property.

Categories: Schenectady County

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