Madigan Proposes 0.14 Percent Property Tax Reduction
SARATOGA SPRINGS – At the Saratoga Springs City Council meeting on Tuesday, October 6, Commissioner of Finance Michele Madigan detailed the proposed 2016 Saratoga Springs City Budget, under which City residents will see a 0.14 percent decrease in their property taxes.
The proposed 2016 tax rates are - inside district: $6.0593 per $1,000 of assessed property value; outside district: $5.982 per $1,000 of assessed property value.
What this translates to, for a taxpayer inside the district with a home with an assessed value of $250,000, their property tax bill in 2016 will be $1,514.83 – a reduction of $2.70 from 2015.
This is the fourth City budget that Commissioner Madigan has put forth with virtually no increase in property tax. The 2016 Budget year is also the second year of the NYS Property Tax Freeze Credit. If the City stays within the tax levy cap and receives State approval of its Government Efficiencies Plan, qualified homeowners will also receive a freeze credit. “Saratoga Springs taxpayers can expect to receive both a tax decrease and a tax rebate”, stated Commissioner Madigan.
The total budget in 2016 will rise by $2,081,557 over 2015, to $43,841,077. The majority of the increase, $1.65 million, or 79 percent, is due to contractual wage and health insurance cost increases. The proposed budget offsets these and other increases with forecasts of a two percent increase in sales and mortgage taxes over amounts projected for 2015, bringing in an additional $1.43 million. Also, hotel occupancy tax is forecast to increase by $140,100; building permits another $50,000, and franchise tax (collected on local gross cable revenue) about $45,000.
The budget does not contain any potential one-time revenues the city might derive from the sale/lease of either the Collamer or High Rock parking lot. Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) aid was projected at the 2013 level, or $1.827 million, in anticipation of a potential impact of expanded casino gaming in the region on city revenues.
Four budget workshops are currently scheduled: Thursday, October 8 at 5 p.m., Wednesday October 14 at 1 p.m., Wednesday, October 21 at 1 p.m. and Monday, October 26 at 6 p.m. Each workshop will be designated for specific departments, with time allotted at each workshop for general discussion after departments are finished. There will also be a Public Comment period at each workshop.
Also, two public hearings are required, with the first to be held at 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, October 20, before the regular City Council meeting and another to be scheduled once the City Council has made adjustments to the plan. Under the city’s charter, the finance commissioner proposes a comprehensive budget at the first City Council meeting in October. Through workshops and meetings, the City Council can vote to change the budget in November or simply adopt it as proposed. The council must adopt a budget by November 30; if it doesn’t, the proposed budget detailed last Tuesday will become the 2016 adopted budget.
The complete 2016 budget proposal can be viewed in its entirety on the city’s website at www.saratoga-springs.org