GLEN — The town board adopted the 2019 budget of $1.7 million at their regular meeting on Monday.
The 2019 budget shows a tax levy increase from the current budget of $283,500 to $373,500, which is a $90,000 increase.
In September, the town passed Local Law 2 to amend Chapter 89, which allowed it to override the tax cap of 2 percent for the 2019 budget. If the town were to stay under the tax cap, they would not have been able to increase the budget more than $6,000 according to officials.
The town exceeded that 2 percent tax cap by about 24 percent. Thomas said the tax levy is just shy of 30 percent.
“That 2 percent sales tax cap, for us, would limit us to a $6,000 increase, which wouldn’t even cover half of our health insurance cost,” said Supervisor John Thomas.
He said the $90,000 tax levy increase comes out to be $65 per parcel in the town of Glen taxable parcels.
Thomas said a couple major reasons for the tax levy increase is due to the rise of health insurance by 8.5 percent, which brings it to over $11,000. The town also put an extra $20,000 toward its highway garage, and sales tax is estimated to be down by 3 percent, which comes out to be about $15,000.
Thomas said the town of Glen was the second lowest taxed town in Montgomery County in 2018.
A public hearing on the 2019 budget was held in October. Thomas said one question that was raised at the public hearing was the county snow contract. The county wants the town to accept a three-year contract with a 1 percent annual increase.
“I’m reluctant to sign a three-year contract,” Thomas said. “I don’t know what things are going to look like in three years. For example, diesel fuel is up over 20 percent in the last 12 months, health insurance is 8.5 percent. How do I accept a 1 percent increase for the three years.”
He said he has raised the issue with County Executive Matt Ossenfort and Legislative Chairman Robert Headwell.
Thomas said compared to other municipalities, the town of Glen has a low fund balance in the general fund.
“So we’re not like some other communities in Montgomery County where we can tap that fund balance,” Thomas said. “I mean that’s how the county stays under that 2 percent.”
“I feel good about it,” Thomas said of the 2019 budget. “We had a contingency this year, we had some money set aside for some projects here. For an example we had to put a new roof on this year. That had to come out of the fund balance because we hadn’t planned for it. The parking lot needs to be paved, [and] we need some lighting. So, there is some money in the budget for projects down here where we had to draw from the fund balance in the past. I hate to increase taxes. At the end of the day, I think $65 per taxable parcel, I think that’s something that we can live with.”