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What you need to know for 02/20/2017

Niskayuna board approves $13.7M budget

Niskayuna board approves $13.7M budget

The Niskayuna Town Board unanimously approved a $13.7 million budget for 2013 at a special meeting t

The Niskayuna Town Board unanimously approved a $13.7 million budget for 2013 at a special meeting tonight.

“This budget continues to deliver the services that our residents expect, while keeping costs down for our taxpayers,” town Supervisor Joe Landry said before the 5-0 vote.

The spending plan will increase the property tax levy by 1.42 percent, which is less than the state-mandated 2 percent tax cap. The tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value for homeowners will be about $2.45, up about 5 cents from this year, for an increase of 1.94 percent. The non-homestead tax rate — which largely covers businesses — will decrease about 6 cents, or roughly 1 percent, to $4.99.

Next year’s appropriations will total $13,714,740, up $40,000 from the initial budget proposal and about $445,000 more than this year’s appropriations. Next year’s budget increases the personnel line at the Niskayuna Senior Center from $79,000 to $115,000, in part to allow for one of two part-time staff members to go full-time.

Also approved were the town’s special district budgets, which include Consolidated Water District No. 1, Consolidated Sewer District No. 1, Sewer District No. 6, and the town’s park, drainage and lighting districts.

A tiny smattering of residents showed up to the meeting, but no one spoke out against the budget. One did express some concern, however, that keeping the budget within the state-imposed tax cap would be unsustainable in the future.

Board member Julie McDonnell praised the budget, which she said reflects the town’s continued commitment to families, youth and senior citizens, but she was also concerned about the sustainability of it in the long term.

“Although we were fortunate to fund services with just a minimal tax increase this year, I do remain concerned about our increasing budgets in this economic climate,” she said.

Landry said residents can expect the board next year to look for creative solutions to improve town services while keeping costs down.

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