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Proposed Colonie Budget Increases Taxes By 2 Percent

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WAMC photo by Dave Lucas
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Colonie Town Supervisor Paula Mahan has released her 2020 budget proposal.

The $99.5 million dollar package carries a 2 percent tax hike.    "Our goal was to be able to stay within the 2 percent cap. And we were able to do that, and the increase is 2 percent and the impact to the median household in the town is 98 cents per month. And it equates to 8.4 cents per thousand of assessed value. And that's where we get that 98 cents from."

Mahan's plan would bump the general property tax up to $3.99 per thousand dollars of assessed value. She says although exceeded last year, her goal has always been to keep the tax rate as low as possible.  "It's a lean budget. We're still taking the conservative approach. We were very pleased, we hit our mark, very comfortable with the progress. The main cost drivers for the budget, as always, health insurance, payroll and unfunded mandates. We also look at our sales tax over a period of years and watch the trends, again to take a very conservative approach, because sales tax fluctuates, so we always try to be conservative, but we did very well there as well. That has increases, and we've been watching a trend for the last several years."

Mahan says the budget process is always challenging, noting there is a "safety net" in place...   "...because you never know how things go. And our debt service, we have our capital plan where we do our large projects, and basically our debt service, the majority of it is for water, sewer and road infrastructure improvements. You know we have been keeping up with the projects that we have been looking forward to doing. We've been doing a lot of work, obviously, with all of our infrastructure, put a great amount of money into roads, water and sewer. And also we've done a lot of updates on our parks over the last few years and we've invested over $3 million in our main parks and in all of your pocket parks, so we're very pleased that we're able to do that. And also our library, as you probably have read, we have been making major improvements throughout our library, that's a phase-in project. And we have all of that incorporated as we move forward that we can continue those improvements and stay within our budget."

Mahan, a Democrat, is in her sixth term. She faces a challenge from Republican George Scaringe in November’s election.

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2020 Tentative Budget For The Town of Colonie on Scribd

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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