Niskayuna

No residential tax increase in proposed Niskayuna budget

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Niskayuna Supervisor Yasmine Syed has proposed a 2022 budget that would increase spending 3.8% from the year before, but would not raise residential taxes. 

The budget is fiscally conservative, while still allowing the town to continue all services, Syed said during her presentation of the budget Monday evening.

The proposed $17.1 million budget would keep the residential tax rate at $2.76 per $1,000 of assessed value. The tax rate for non-residential property, such as commercial properties in town, is proposed to increase 1.2% to $6.08 in 2022 from $6.01 in 2021.

No reserve funds would be used to offset the budget, Syed said.

During the meeting Town Board member Lisa Webber asked how the town will use American Rescue Plan Act money in the budget. 

In July the town accepted $1,142,256 in ARPA funding and expects to receive another disbursement of the same amount next year. 

Syed said the money was spread across the budget. 

“We’ve received the first disbursement,” Syed said. “We are eagerly awaiting the second.”

She said because the town was one of the first to apply for the money it actually received $9,000 in additional funds. 

The money can be used to cover general services but may not be used for replenishing reserves or paying off debt, Syed said Tuesday.

The Police Department would receive funding to hire additional officers in next year’s budget if the budget is approved. Staffing at the department has been an issue over the last year after several officers retired from the department and the administrative duties were left to the deputy chief for several months. Now, the department has a new chief – Jordan Kochan – who plans to hire a lieutenant.  

“When you talk about oversight of new technology when you talk about oversight of new policies when you talk about really becoming that well-defined new era police agency you need to have a strong administrative staff to be able to oversee all of those things and the implementation and then be growing those things moving forward,” Kochan said during the town’s first budget workshop Monday evening. 

The cost of a lieutenant position would be offset by the retirement of a detective next year, Kochan said. He said there is already a candidate for the lieutenant position should it be funded.

Kochan also intends to hire an officer who would act as both a community resource officer and a traffic enforcement officer. One of the police reform recommendations was to have a community resource officer, Kochan said. However, he said until that job duty is clearly defined the department should have a hybrid position that also handles traffic enforcement. Residents have complained about speeding and other traffic issues throughout town over the last few months. 

A public hearing on the budget will take place at a special Town Board meeting on Nov. 4. The board is expected to vote on whether to adopt the budget on Nov. 18.

Adopted 2021 Proposed 2022 Percent Change
Total Spending $16,499,451 $17,121,513 3.8%
Tax Levy $8,648,656 $8,692,326 0.5%
Tax Rate Per $1,00- Assessed Residential Value $2.73 $2.73 0%
Tax Rate Per $1,000 Assessed Non-residential Value $6.01 $6.08 1.2%

Categories: News, Schenectady County, Your Niskayuna

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