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Clifton Park to undergo fiscal analysis

The impact of development on Clifton Park's tax base, and the projection of what the town's future fiscal needs are, will be examined in a Fiscal and Tax Base Analysis, the IDA Economic Development Fund announced on Monday, Feb.1. The project will be at no cost to the town and will look at ways to limit the burden of real property taxes on property owners in the town, said EDF Chairman Jim Angus.

The analysis will be performed by the Saratoga County economic development consulting firm Camoin Associates. Angus said the EDF believes the analysis will allow the community to better evaluate future development opportunities and predict their economic impact on the town. It will review current zoning and land use requirements, revenues and expenses and the overall fiscal health of the town, while considering the impact of commercial, industrial and manufacturing development balanced against existing residential, retail, recreational and open space uses. Results of this analysis will guide land use decisions so future projects will increase the assessed value of town property and limit the property tax burden on taxpayers.

Clifton Park does not currently have a property tax for its operationsomething Supervisor Phil Barrett said is important to maintainbut resident are taxed by the county and school district. He said the town supports the analysis project and thinks it will help Clifton Park make smart planning decisions.

"This study complements the many long-range planning initiatives we have carried out in recent years, fulfilling our commitment to planned, managed growth," said Barrett.

The EDF is a new joint effort between the Clifton Park IDA and Saratoga Economic Development Corporation to provide additional support for industrial and commercial projects, with the IDA allocating $350,000 to create it. It will offer flexible loans and grants to businesses and underwrite programs to encourage strategic economic development initiatives within the town, according to information from the EDF. The analysis is the EDF's first project.

Future projects will be considered on a case by case basis, according to the EDF, with the primary objective of creating job opportunities for Clifton Park residents and encouraging new capital investment. Funding assistance will be provided up to $50,000.

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