Morand, who is a former Bethlehem Republican Committee member, concluded by saying, "I don't put faith in these budgets."
"People are just getting drowned," Stewart said. "I have a mortgage, and taxes just keep going up and up. The big issue is just trying to keep it down."
Councilwoman Joann Dawson told residents, "Our responsibility doesn't end in two weeks," referring to when the town is expected to vote on the budget proposal.
She said the budget is an ongoing process and could be revisited in the future.
According to Judi Kehoe, the town's outgoing comptroller who now works full-time with the Bethlehem Central School District, the 6.89 percent tax levy proposal combined with the expanded assessment base will result in an increase of 7.3 percent in revenues to the town from property taxes, she said.
"As we continue to invest in this community, the community continues to be a great investment," Cunningham concluded at his presentation. "I've realized that people don't come to this town because the taxes are high or low, they come to this town because it's a great place to live, and it's well managed and I think a lot of you are here because of those reasons.""