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Colonie budget passes

Small tax bump, but 2014 numbers stay within cap

At the Thursday, Nov. 7, meeting, the Colonie Town Board passed its $83.1 million budget for 2014. The budget increased by 1.54 percent, which remains under the 2 percent tax-cap.

“The 2014 budget represents our best effort to provide top-quality services with the least impact on our taxpayers,” said Town Supervisor Paula Mahan said. “We’ve continued to streamline town government and have complied with the 2 percent tax cap once again.”

Mahan said that increased labor contract costs, health-care and mandated payments into the New York State Retirement System, resulted in the 2014 budget containing a total net tax rate increase of 8 cents per $1,000 of assessed taxable value.  For the owner of a median-assessed value home of $140,000, the net tax increase will be approximately $10.96 per year.

“We will continue our conservative financial approach as we move into the future,” said Mahan.

For the first time since Mahan was elected supervisor six years ago, most town employees are getting raises, although town board members, department leaders and Mahan will not be on that list.

Mahan said she hopes to continue to increase the town’s savings, which are at nearly $1.5 million, and she thinks it’s possible that number could reach $2 million by the end of 2014.

“We doubled it this year … and I would hope that we could increase it. Being realistic, if we could reach the $2 million mark, that would be something that I think would be very positive,” said Mahan.

The state comptroller has recommended the town have a savings of $4 million in case of emergencies.

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