Saratoga County budget holds tax rate

Saratoga County will hold the line on the property tax rate as well as have a $28 million surplus, according to the tentative 2008 budget unveiled Oct. 30.

Spending is down from the amended 2007 budget, almost 5 percent to $231 million in 2008. The county tax rate will remain steady at $2.16 per $1,000 assessed value. The bill for the owner of a house valued at $200,000 would be $431 a year.

The tentative 2008 county budget allows for $10 million on capital projects in 2008. The county will spend $1 million to design a new public safety building to house the sheriff's department and the public health department and $500,000 on a design for a new animal shelter. Officials noted that construction of those facilities will not begin next year.

I am especially proud to sponsor a budget that will lay the groundwork for a new animal shelter, said Supervisor George Hargrave, R-Galway, who will be chairman of the Board of Supervisors in 2008. He will take over for Supervisor Philip Barrett, R-Clifton Park.

More of the county's revenue comes from sales taxes than from property taxes, said County Treasurer Sam Pitcheralle. He said because sales tax income is trending downward, he used a conservative estimate when preparing for 2008 " $51 million.

The county budget for 2007 had predicted that the county would take in $51.6 million in sales-tax revenue in 2007, which turned out to be too optimistic an estimate.

"Now I think we would be fortunate to bring in $50 million," Pitcheralle said.

Other revenue comes in the form of self-supporting agencies and state aid.

There were concerns regarding some of the county's revenue sources: sales tax, the county's cut of video lottery terminal revenue from Saratoga Gaming and Raceway and income from Saratoga Race Course.

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