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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Proposed Rotterdam budget calls for tax increase

Rotterdam’s provisional 2022 budget proposes a 2.1% tax increase for residential property owners, while a 27.4% increase in taxes for commercial property owners.

Residential property taxes are proposed to rise to $3.92 per $1,000 of assessed value, up from $3.84 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2021. Non-homestead or commercial properties are proposed to increase from $7.05 per $7.05 to an appraised value of $8.98 per $1,000 in 2022. $1,000 of assessed value in 2021.

An increase of 0.42% over the proposed budget of approximately $26.1 million The 2021 budget was adopted. No numbers were provided for property tax revenue in the provisional budget.

The budget shows the city is proposing a $60,000 salary increase for town engineers, from $40,000 in 2021 to $100,000 in 2022. The city has also budgeted $150,000 in 2022 for an engineering consultant, up from $75,000 in 2021. Under revenue the city was proposed to generate $700,000 in 2022 from property sales. It had no revenue for 2021 or 2020 under the same budget line.

The city would not respond to questions regarding funding in the provisional budget.

Residents will have to wait until Wednesday to hear a presentation on the budget, eight days after city law requires a city to present a budget.

“The provisional budget has been sent electronically to the town board and made available to the public,” city officials said in an emailed statement. “This is the first step in the budget process and it is too early to know what changes will be made in the final budget. Like most communities, it was a difficult financial year for Rotterdam, and the Town Board is working hard towards a responsible budget that protects and maintains services.

The budget was also not made available to the public until 6 October after at least one resident and The Daily Gazette verbally requested copies of it. Under New York State Town Law, towns are required to file a budget with the clerk by September 30.

Rotterdam town clerk Diane Marko told The Gazette that she was not allowed to release the documents to the public after they were provided on 30 September.

“I was given the budget on 30 September by an employee of the Director of the Finance Office,” Marko said in an emailed statement. “When I said you called and wanted it I asked the employee if I could issue it and he was told by the supervisor that I can’t.”

The gazette was asked to call the supervisor regarding the budget. He did not answer and did not return the call.

Resident Robert Godlewski, a former board member, said he also asked Marko for the document and was told he needed to call a supervisor.

This is the first time the clerk has been instructed not to release the budget in several years, breaking city standards, Marko said.

Marco said the supervisor usually calls a special meeting and she presents the budget. Under the State Town Law, the budget must be presented by the clerk in a regular or special town board meeting by 5 October.

She said supervisor Steven Tomasone did not call for the meeting, so she posted the budget online and would now present it at the board’s Wednesday night meeting.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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