County budget approved; under tax cap


Schoharie County supervisors were able to trim enough expenses and utilize some savings to get the 2018 under the state mandated tax cap.
Supervisors Friday afternoon approved a $89.3 million spending plan for next year that will increase the tax levy by $56,103 or .26 percent, though the actual tax rates hike will vary in the county’s 16 towns because of different equalization rates.
Cobleskill’s Leo McAllister, the head of the finance committee said he did not think there was a chance to get the spending plan under the tax cap.
The proposed budget submitted by county Administrator Steve Wilson showed slightly lower expenses but a tax levy hike of 1.87 percent.
“I didn’t think it would happen when we started this process,” he said Friday about getting the budget under the state tax cap.
Supervisors were able to cut the tax levy hike by using an additional $524,000 in savings from the fund balance.
The fiancé committee added $160,000 in spending to Mr. Wilson’s recommendation, mostly in the contingency line.
There was also a reduction of $18,000 in revenue, but supervisors were able to use more savings because of an increase in the sales tax revenue.
Mr. McAllister noted that the sales tax revenue has increased by about $780,000 over last year. The total hike may be $1 million by the end of the year.
Mr. Wilson stressed that the amount used from the fund balance, about $2 million, was much less than the $2.7 million used this year.
County department heads proposed 17 new full-time positions and suggested eliminating seven. The finance committee eliminated another seven leaving a total of three full-time positions, according to Mr. Wilson.
There were no salary upgrades in the budget until supervisors agreed to four Friday afternoon.
Pay upgrades were approved for two positions in the board of supervisors’ office and the board of elections.
Sandra Manko of Sharon and Phil Skowfoe of Fulton voted against the budget. Shawn Smith of Blenheim was not present for the vote.