Both residential and commercial property owners in Rotterdam will see an increase in their taxes next year following the town board’s approval of the 2022 budget Wednesday evening.
The board approved its $27.4 million budget 4-0. Supervisor Steven Tommasone was absent during the meeting.
Board member Samantha Miller-Herrera said in the board’s agenda review meeting held prior to Wednesday night’s meeting that the tax rate did not exceed the state’s 2% tax levy cap.
However, residential taxes will go up 9.9% to $4.22 per $1,000 of assessed property value for 2022, compared to $3.84 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2021. Commercial taxes will go up 16.2% to $8.19 per $1,000 of assessed property value for 2022. Currently, the tax rate is $7.05 per $1,000 of assessed value.
The residential tax rate was increased from what was originally in the proposed budget in November and the topic of the public hearing. Initially, the rate was only set to increase by a penny. However, the commercial tax rate has since decreased from the initial proposal, in which it was set at $8.80 per $1,000 of assessed value.
Director of Finance Elizabeth Greenwood said the change is due to getting updated assessment values from the county. When a budget is formulated, officials take the total assessed value of properties in the town and considers that value against the amount it needs to collect in taxes to determine the tax rate.
The rate changed because the town received updated assessment information, said Greenwood.
Greenwood said the final budget added back $100,000 in paving funds and roughly $50,000 for a new police car.
What also changed in the budget was the way the town tracks money for its water and sewer funds.
“This clarifies which types of revenues were going against which types of expenses,” Greenwood said.
This change had not been made previously as Greenwood was waiting to hear from the state Comptroller’s Office to confirm that this was the correct move to make. That assurance came Tuesday, she said.
“The actual cost for things hasn’t changed, it’s purely a methodology in terms of the accounting that we have just literally picked apart all of these lines in the budget to ensure that we’re accounting for the taxed portion as taxed and the utility cost.”
This adjustment to accounting for the town will also reflect differently in the tax bills, Greenwood said. When residents and businesses receive their January tax bill, they will now see a line for debt service and then a line for operations and maintenance costs.