CHARLTON — Town residents won’t pay a town property tax for the 36th consecutive year, based on the 2018 tentative town budget.
Spending on general fund and highway expenses will total $2.12 million, up from $1.92 million this year. The largest increase in spending is for the highway department.
“The highway budget did see an increase in 2018 due to increased health insurance costs, increased wages for the employees and the purchase of a large plow truck for $160,000,” said Town Supervisor Alan R. Grattidge, who oversaw preparation of the spending plan.
Grattidge said the town has applied for a state grant through state Sen. James Tedisco’s office that could reimburse $100,000 of the cost of the new truck. He said the town is also planning to repave 4 or 5 miles of road next year, about the same amount as this year. Charlton oversees maintenance of 47 miles of road.
The town relies primarily on Saratoga County sales tax revenue to pay for its budget, as do other towns in Saratoga County. The town’s property tax was eliminated in 1982, the year after the county sales tax was established — when towns in the county began sharing in about half the sales tax revenue collected by the county.
The sales tax is expected to bring in $1.4 million next year, Grattidge said. Mortgage tax revenue, state aid and court fines are other significant sources of revenue for the town.
“Obviously, sales tax is the big one,” Grattidge said.
He said general fund appropriations are expected to be up about 2.7 percent next year, due to increased health care costs and 2 percent raises for most town employees. The supervisor and Town Board members plan to take no pay raise.
“The Town Board is holding the line on spending and still providing the services for the residents of Charlton,” Grattidge said.
A public hearing on the budget is planned for 7 p.m. Oct. 23, Grattidge said. The board is expected to vote on the budget Nov. 13.