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Budget has no town tax

For the third year in a row, the town of Ballston town budget, recently approved by the town board, is a balanced budget calling for zero taxes to local property owners. The 2007, $5,332,487, spending plan represents just a slight increase over the 2006 budget of $5,205,410. The budget draft was scrutinized in a series of workshops to keep expenses in line with revenues. With high assessments on town properties, the sales taxes are a large source of town income.

Our major income is from sales and mortgage taxes, and we stay within that income, said Town Supervisor Ray Callanan.

There are 4,100 properties within the town of 9,000 residents, properties with a total assessed value of $900 million. In recent times of escalating insurance costs, employee benefits and retirement costs, Callanan said the board is always keeping a watchful eye on the future.

"We plan ahead for insurance increases so we won't be blindsided," said Callanan. "We also have a scheduled replacement of highway and other large equipment purchases so we don't get hit with any surprises."

Town Clerk Muriel Swatling said there were no property owners that showed up at the November public hearing before the 2007 budget was approved.

"The residents are all happy," said Swatling. "This is the place to live.""

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