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Proposed Malta town budget up 2.9%; no tax hike

Monday, October 7, 2013
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— The tentative 2014 Malta town budget would see spending increase about 2.9 percent, but residents will pay about the same in taxes.

The owner of a $250,000 home would pay $241 in town taxes, Town Supervisor Paul J. Sausville said, compared with $245 under the current budget, if the tentative budget is adopted.

Overall spending under the budget Sausville has proposed would total $9.2 million, up about $255,000 from the current town budget.

The supervisor said it would be the 30th consecutive budget with no general fund tax, under than what’s needed for programs specifically approved by voters.

Residents would pay one penny per $1,000 assessed value for an ambulance volunteer service award program, and 82 cents per $1,000 for fire protection, which is separate from the general fund. The proposed fire protection tax rate is unchanged, even though the Round Lake and Malta Ridge fire companies will receive an additional $60,000 as they prepare for the construction of shared central fire station. Overall fire protection spending would rise from $1,807,000 this year to $1,873,500.

There will also be no townwide highway tax for the 13th consecutive year.

There is also a voter-approved tax of 14 cents per $1,000 for library services.

“All other costs are paid from sales and mortgage tax receipts, court fines and a number of grants and user fees,” Sausville said in a budget statement.

The Saratoga County sales tax is being budgeted to bring the town $4.3 million, a 2 percent increase. Sausville said he also expects mortgage recording tax revenue and building permit fees to rise next year, as the local construction economy improves.

The tentative budget also calls for drawing $182,000 from the town’s surplus funds, which will total an estimated $2.5 million at the end of 2013.

Spending provisions

Among the tentative budget’s spending provisions:

* There will be a 1.66 percent cost-of-living raise for all employees earning less than $60,000 a year.

* There is $729,000 authorized for improvements to the town’s 77 miles of road, but no money for long-term improvements at the Luther Forest Technology Campus, “due to ongoing discussions with the representatives of the [planned development] district.”

* There is $165,000 for maintenance and operation of town parks and bike trails, which Sausville called “important quality of life issues.”

The Town Board will hold a series of workshops this month to review department budgets.

 
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