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No tax in C.P. general budget

Town continues highway-only taxing

Clifton Park Supervisor Phil Barrett has released a 2013 town budget that continues a standing tradition of levying no general property tax, and includes a 3 percent increase in highway taxes.

The tentative budget totals nearly $16 million, a roughly $800,000 increase when compared to this year’s spending plan.

“We continue to follow our policy of conservative budgeting,” Barrett said. “The people of Clifton Park know when we release the budget, that it has realistic expectations and revenue projections.”

The town has not levied a general property tax for more than two decades. Barrett said the town is able to do this by being conservative and by anticipating less than what the town expects to receive in sales taxes.

The increase in the highway tax would cost the average homeowner an additional 60 cents, and set the tax rate at 18.9 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. The Highway Fund budget is $5.1 million.

Barrett said commercial growth in the Route 9 corridor continues to benefit the town in the form of sales tax revenue.

“We have experienced an increase in sales tax revenues in 2012, but our outlook for the economy remains cautious considering the significant events and challenges in the near future, both in New York State and the country as a whole,” said Barrett in a statement.

There are several infrastructure project scheduled in the budget, including in housing developments like Country Knolls South and Country Knolls West.

“Now they’re up to 40 or 50 years old. We spent around $1 million on paving over the past several years to ensure we keep up with the roads. … We need to ensure we are properly investing in this infrastructure,” said Barrett.

He also said there would continue to be a strong focus on infrastructure investments in the near future. The 2013 budget includes improvements at the Clifton Common, Collins Park and other town facilities, $100,000 for the spring bulk waste pick up service and $50,000 for trails maintenance.

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