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Colonie unveils tentative budget

At a special Town Board meeting, Colonie Town Comptroller Craig Blair presented the supervisor, town board members and public with a tentative 2009 budget that represents a total of $86.9 million and a 3 percent tax increase for homeowners.

The increase for homeowners would equal about $2.80 per $1,000 of assessed value, so, for a home assessed at a value of $140,000, the property tax would go up by $11.20.

The tentative budget was composed by a budget committee that consisted of the comptroller, Town Supervisor Paula Mahan, Deputy Supervisor Nancy Hernandez, Director of Planning and Economic Development Joseph LaCivita, Director of Town Operations Peter Gannon and other senior town officials.

The 2009 budget could exclude the Highway Fund tax based on recommendations made by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. In the state comptroller's recommendations, he suggested the highway fund rate be removed due to improper spending in years past and that the rate could be included in the general fund. In 2008, residents paid a rate of $1.47 per $1,000 of assessed value in the highway fund and commercial property owners paid $1.90 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Last year in the general fund, homeowners paid $1.24 per $1,000 of assessed value, whereas they could pay $2.80 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2009; and commercial property owners paid $1.83 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2008 and could pay $2.64 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2009.

Also in the tentative budget is a change in the Albany County Voter Tax Levy, which will be used to support upcoming elections and implementation of the Help America Vote Act. In this area, residents paid $2.75 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2008 and could pay $2.83 in 2009. Commercial property owners paid $3.63 in 2008 and could pay $2.67 in 2009.

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