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2015 County Budget: Stream Spending Hikes Taxes, Largely Offset by Tax Rebate

Written By Editor on 10/14/14 | 10/14/14

On the surface of things, the newly released Schoharie County 2015 tentative budget has a significant tax increase.

However, looking closer shows that most homeowners will not be paying much more, if anything, next year.

Due to stagnating property values and sales tax, coupled with necessary projects, County taxes will be increasing by 4.86% from .0843% to .0884% for most taxpayers. However, under the new tax credit system implemented by the state, late next year all STAR-eligible property owners will receive a check offsetting the increase in taxes.

Temporary and permanent spending drove up the budget this year. Total expenditures will increase 19.1%, or $13.7 million to $85.7 million. Much of the increase in spending-- and in taxes are due to the streambank stabilization project. Due to increased costs and other issues, the County will likely have to bond the cost over ten years. $10 million of the $13.7 million in increased spending is directly due to this project.

Other major spending projects include improving the Emergency Communications Center and E-911 dispatch, moving it from a flood damaged property in Schoharie to the former MOSA site. The budget also includes portions to help make the County Building flood resistant and rebuild the Schoharie Jail. They are being paid for through Bond Anticipation Notes, of which after state and federal reimbursement, the County will only pay interest on.

The budget also made significant cutbacks to soften the blow of tax increases, including positions at the Treasurer's Office, Planning and Development, and IT.

The proposed budget also allows saving by having Consolidated Highway projects be done by the County instead of by third-party contractors.
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