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Town OKs budget

Clifton Park has adopted a 2008 budget that is 5 percent higher than the planned 2007 budget.

How this affects Clifton Park taxpayers depends on which of the town's 12 taxing districts they live in. The adopted budget reflects a 0.16 percent increase over the tentative budget.

The $28 million budget has a general fund with expenditures and revenue balanced at more than $14 million.

The town's 12 special assessment districts have a total expenditure of $9,393,102; with the Shenendehowa Library and fire districts topping the list at more than $2 million each.

Councilman Sanford Roth said there was money to be saved by reducing departments' equipment budgets.

There was no effort or intent to take equipment away from any department, he said at the Monday, Nov. 19, meeting of the town council.

"These were all things that were labeled 'miscellaneous equipment,' and there is no such thing as miscellaneous equipment, so I went to the department heads and asked them exactly what they needed."

The town also removed a proposed full-time laborer position from the town's transfer station and replaced it with $5,000 for part-time summer help, according to town Administrator Michael Shahen.

While Clifton Park has no real property tax, the town's highway budget has increased to more than $4.5 million. The town has alleviated the highway tax by applying an inter-fund transfer of town surplus funds of $3.7 million to the highway fund.

According to Supervisor Phil Barrett, the transfer is the difference between a tax bill of $370 for a home assessed at $200,000 and a bill of $30 for the same home.

This ruffled the feathers of some residents, however, who said the funds could be used for other purposes. One resident suggested the town take on some of the cost of the school district and alleviate the school tax.

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