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Town adopts budget

At a Guilderland Town Board meeting Thursday, Nov. 9, the board adopted its budget for 2007, following a public hearing.

No residents spoke at the hearing, during which Supervisor Kenneth Runion highlighted some important parts of the budget.

The town board has been working very diligently since September, working and analyzing the town budget for 2007, said Runion.

The town's general fund will not see an increase for the eighth straight year.

"The tax rate is remaining the same as last year, which is 25 cents per $1,000 of assessed value," said Runion.

In a comment two weeks ago, Runion, who estimated the average cost of a home in the town to be about $180,000, said that the average resident would end up paying about $45 toward the general fund.

In what he called, a "maintenance-type" budget, Runion said town budget work sessions tended to focus on necessary maintenance and repairs.

"We have very limited new programs," said Runion.

Runion said that, when developing the budget, departments are asked where they can cut costs if necessary, and the focus stays on the balance of keeping taxes low and the town's maintenance levels up.

At the meeting, Runion said it was important to note that the budget is primarily funded through means other than property taxes, including $10 million in sales tax revenue and $1 million in mortgage tax revenue. By comparison, property taxes contribute a little more than $720,000 to the total budget.

Additionally, according to Runion, a separate item for voting costs has been added to the town's tax bill as a result of changes instituted by the Help America Vote Act.

"This year the town has been advised that Albany County will be handling future elections," said Runion. "This has resulted in a substantial increase in what the town has paid in the past."

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