Niskayuna supervisor's budget within tax cap

Hike of 1.4 percent held down by increase in other revenues, reserves tapped for $43k

— Niskayuna’s tentative budget for next year is below the state imposed tax cap and limits the use of savings.

Town Supervisor Joe Landry’s 2013 budget proposal was filed on Monday, Oct. 1, and it totals more than $21 million and calls for a tax levy increase of around 1.4 percent. The general and highway spending plan totals almost $13.67 million, which is an increase of $415,316, or 3 percent.

“There are additional expenses that we had to incur, which are retirement increases and health insurance increases,” Landry said, “but we were able to put this budget together despite those.”

Revenues outside of property taxes are projected to increase by more than $272,000, which is helping to offset growing expenses. Revenues from town-owned property sales are increasing by $55,000 and total $145,000.

Landry said the town is selling off parcels of land near its recreation center that aren’t being used. The properties are on a hilly area, and development typically occurs on the outer edges near roadways.

The budget projects an increase of $75,000 in mortgage tax revenue for a total of $700,000. Landry said he expects home purchases or refinancing to grow next year.

Revenues from the town’s new lawn debris pick up fee are also increasing by $20,000 to $170,000. This was the first time residents were faced with the new fee, which they could opt out of paying. Initial projections for this year have revenues exceeding the budgeted amount, according to Landry.

The budget draws minimally from reserves, with only $43,000 applied from the highway fund balance. The spending plan, if approved as is, would mark the second year no general fund reserves are tapped, with this year’s adopted budget also not using any highway reserves. There is no fund balance usage proposed in special districts.

“The fund balances are adequate,” Landry said. “We have quite a bit in the fund balance in the general and highway.”

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