CLIFTON PARK — The Town Board on Monday approved a $17.5 million budget that calls for a slight spending increase in 2019.
The spending plan was unanimously approved and calls for total spending of $17,597,689. That is a 1.6 percent increase over 2018’s spending.
The budget does not exceed the New York State Tax Cap, and does not pull from the town’s reserve funds to balance the budget.
The increase in spending stems from rising healthcare costs for town employees, according to town officials. The plan also allows investments in town equipment, vehicles, recreational venue upgrades and infrastructure improvements.
Also included in the 2019 budget is funding for a Hazardous Waste Collection Program for Clifton Park residents, which will be slated for September 2019.
The town will continue without a property tax in 2018. The town does collect a highway tax and and an emergency medical services tax.
In 2019, the town highway tax for a home valued at $250,000 will be $43.28, an increase of about $3.34 from the current fiscal year.
Highway tax collections are influenced by the cost of paving materials and the amount of highway slated for improvements, as well as the costs of fuel and road salt.
The Highway Fund budget for 2019 is $5,729,947, a less-than 1 percent increase over the 2018 adopted budget.
However, the EMS tax will be reduced in 2019 from approximately 26 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value to approximately 24.18 cents.That rate also decreased last year.
The 2019 budget does not include raises for town employees, as the town is currently negotiating with the Civil Service Employees Association, the labor union that represents employees.
Last year, union members received a 3 percent raise, while non-union town employees saw 2 percent pay boosts.
“Commercial tax base growth, particularly in the Exit 9 area, conservative budgeting and initiatives that have saved a significant amount of money have resulted in Clifton Park’s strong fiscal position, positive tax record and funding of important initiatives, such as the expansion of our recreational and trail networks,” said Clifton Park Town Supervisor Phil Barrett, in a prepared statement. “The Clifton Park Town Board continues to maintain a sharp focus on building and strengthening the town of Clifton Park operations, recreational facilities, vehicles, equipment and general infrastructure.
“We will continue to invest in our large number of programs that serve our seniors, children and families throughout the year.”