R'dam budget proposes over 11 percent tax increase

Rotterdam Supervisor Francis Del Gallo released his 2011 tentative budget on Tuesday, Oct. 5, which totals $21,225,273 and includes a property tax of 11.36 percent. Almost $1.6 million is being used from the town's fund balance.

Del Gallo said some of the budgetary pressures were increasing retirement costs and health insurance costs. Revenue is also declining from almost $7.1 million in 2010 to an estimated $6.9 million for 2011.

Del Gallo said part of the tax increase is due to the previous board.

They [the previous administration] haven't taxed anybody for three years, said Del Gallo. "If you don't raise taxes it is only common sense."

Councilman Gerard Parisi disagrees the tax increase is due to the previous administration.

"This is a complete failure on part of the supervisor and deputy supervisor," said Parisi. "Based on what they campaigned upon was a big tax cut, obviously they didn't keep their promise."

Non-residential property taxes are also on the rise, with a 14.7 percent increase from last year.

"The commercial people are getting beat up," said Del Gallo. "They are surviving, that is what they are doing."

Some of the cost saving measures included Del Gallo removing his salary previously and eliminating a $35,490 typist position from the supervisor's office.

Rotterdam Emergency Medical Services had requested $120,000 according to the tentative budget, but their funding is cut from proposed budget.

Del Gallo said there is going to be a vote on a taxing district for REMS on Dec. 14, which was the earliest date he said he could acquire.

"It was the only date that we could get from the election boards to have an election," said Del Gallo. "It is not in the budget now, because it is going to vote."

If the taxing district vote passes then funds will be allocated to REMS.

Del Gallo also stressed reducing the amount used from the fund balance of the town, which was over $300,000 less used than the previous year.

"If you continue to you use the fun balance to balance the budget and run the town then in a few years the town will be broke," said Del Gallo.

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