Saratoga County

Town spending up; tax still zero

Charlton's proposed town budget will have no town property tax for the 31st straight year.

Spending in the proposed 2013 town budget will be up by more than $100,000, but there will be no town property tax for the 31st consecutive year.

Total spending would be just under $1.9 million, up by $115,000 from this year, said Town Supervisor Alan R. Grattidge.

New spending is expected to include purchase of a new police car, and a small truck and wood chipper for the highway department.

The town is also facing double-digit increases in its pension system and health care costs, Grattidge said.

“It’s a challenging budget to put together when you have additional costs you can’t control,” Grattidge said. “There are significant increases we have very little control over.”

As it has for three decades, the rural town of 4,000 in southwestern Saratoga County will rely on sales tax income for most of its revenue, Grattidge said.

Revenue from the county sales tax has been up nearly 10 percent so far this year, and Grattidge believes it will continue to improve. “The economy appears to be getting a little stronger,” he said.

The proposed budget will include $170,000 for town road resurfacing or reconstruction, enough money for improving three to six miles of road. Grattidge said the town expects to receive $85,000 in state highway construction aid — an amount unchanged in several years — and matches it with its own money.

There are also employee raises of 2 or 3 percent in the budget, after the town gave no raises in 2012.

Town Board members are also getting its first raise in several years.

The supervisor’s salary would be raised from $10,000 to $11,500, an increase Grattidge said is only the second he has received in eight years. It is also the lowest supervisor’s salary in Saratoga County.

The other Town Board members are proposed for an increase from $5,000 to $5,500.

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