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Henderson drops tax rate, levy in 2013 budget

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HENDERSON — Cutting a portion of planned funding for its proposed municipal building, the Town Council reduced the tax rate by 37.5 percent as it passed its 2013 budget Thursday.

The tax rate will fall to 20 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, down from 32 cents the previous year. A property valued at $100,000 will be taxed $20.

“Everybody should be happy with the budget,” said Supervisor Raymond A. Walker. “The cost to the individual went down drastically.”

The levy, or amount to be raised by taxes, is $49,387, a 13 percent drop from the $57,162 raised in 2012. The town’s spending jumped from $2,293,398 to $2,681,927, an increase of about 16 percent.

The town, which had in its preliminary budget calculated a tax rate of 27 cents, was able to drop the rate by a little more than 7 cents by cutting its allotment to the fund for a new town office from $625,000 to $600,000. The tax rate was then evened to 20 cents, with the added money being put into the town’s contingency fund.

The town allotted $300,000 in 2012 for the new building.

The cut to the building fund allotment and subsequent tax rate was met with some concern by council members worried about future revenues.

Councilman George H. Aubin said he was worried that the town could have limited money for the project and face higher taxes in later years if the town saw reduced sales tax because of possible deployments from Fort Drum and cuts to Highway Department support as the state moves money to aid in the relief of Hurricane Sandy.

“If we gotta go back up, that’s where we’re going to have problems,” Mr. Aubin said.

The town was boosted by another strong year of county sales tax revenue, receiving $1,076,308.87. The town in 2011 received $1,008,870.78.

The salaries of several town employees are scheduled to increase, including Clerk Charlotte R. Richmond, from $26,500 to $27,000; Supervisor Raymond A. Walker, from $13,000 to $15,000; and the other council members, from $4,000 to $4,500 each. Highway Superintendent Harold Nelson will receive $43,000, up from $42,000.

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