Red Hook Village trustees managed to keep their tax increase under the “2 percent” tax cap, with an overall 3.6 percent increase on the tax levy.
As late as the week before the budget passed on April 25, the village board expected to exceed the tax cap with an increase of 4.4 percent. With last-minute good news from the Dutchess County worker’s compensation pool that premiums would be lower than expected, the board met for a special meeting to hash out the final changes. The result is an increase of about $32 for a house valued at $200,000 compared to the $40 originally expected.
“In my opinion, the board did an excellent job,” Mayor Ed Blundell said of the process at the board’s May 6 meeting.
The drop in sales tax revenue from the county and struggling home values presented continued challenges to the village’s revenue stream. Blundell said the board’s ability to keep the budget under the cap for the 2013-14 fiscal year is “based on the hard work of this board, the staff, and everybody this year trying to do our best to be effective. That’s the message for next year, effectiveness and affordability.”
The 3.6 percent increase comes under the cap due to the formulas the state comptroller’s office uses to set the cap for each municipality, which include allowances for growth factors such as inflation and changes in real estate value.
Of the three local villages, only the Village of Red Hook was able to remain under the tax cap.