Colonie unveils tentative budget

The final, and most controversial, element of the tentative budget is the inclusion of a one-time corrective tax, which the supervisor said should generate nearly $6 million to pay down the town's deficit.

As of last month, town auditors put the deficit at $19.4 million.

For the one-time tax, both homeowners and commercial property owners would be taxed $1 per $1,000 of assessed value, resulting in 93 percent of residents in the town paying below $250.

According to Blair, with this budget, the town can continue to be regarded as one of the lowest tax communities in the region.

Mahan said that she was very pleased that the town could present residents with only a 3 percent increase over last year's budget, one that represents a 5.3 percent decrease over the actual expenses of 2007 that totaled $91.8 million.

Republican Councilwoman Nicole Criscione-Szesnat said she felt that a portion of the tentative budget explanation "sounds like a campaign piece."

The supervisor said, "It's unfortunate that we have to ask [the one-time tax] of our taxpayers, but we have to stabilize. It's hard to ask people for money."

Mahan said the revenue generated by the one-time tax will be used to pay off the town's deficit, and that language in the tentative budget stipulates it may only be applied to 2009.

Residents will be given an opportunity to ask questions and make comments on the tentative budget at a public hearing scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 16. The final version of the budget will be voted on at the Town Board Meeting on Thursday, Nov. 6.""

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