A closer look at the town’s 2021 Preliminary Budget

AMENIA — Last week’s article on the town’s 2021 Preliminary Budget and the public hearing leading to its adoption had a number of errors it, called to the paper’s attention by town Supervisor Victoria Perotti. This article is to correct and rectify those errors. 

Firstly, taxes next year will not rise by 22.49%, Perotti said, as the tax rate per $1,000 for the 2019 fiscal year was calculated at 2.46551 while the tax rate per $1,000 for the 2020 fiscal year was calculated at 1.974126, therefor the tax rate went down. 

Perotti also wanted to clarify that under the state’s tax cap law, the tax cap rate is required to be 2% or the rate of inflation — whichever is less. According to information the town received from the New York State Comptroller’s Office, the tax cap rate for the 2021 fiscal year has been calculated at 1.56%. 

Regarding feedback shared from a recent Amenia Recreation Department meeting by Recreation Director Kelly Milano at the budget public hearing on Thursday, Nov. 5, who spoke of parents’ dismay that the town was cutting its summer camp program next year, Perotti said there was no summer camp program this year. The town supervisor explained the program was cut from the 2021 budget because no one responded to ads placed in The Millerton News or the notices advertised on the town website or its local cable Channel 22 this year or last year for the summer camp director position. She also pointed out that the open summer camp director position was announced at various Town Board meetings. She stressed it was not due to budget cuts.

Coming up in the budget development process, Perotti reported that there will be further reductions in budget lines that will be reflected in the Proposed Adopted Budget, which the Town Board will vote on at its meeting on Thursday, Nov. 19. 

She informed The Millerton News that the Final Budget “will be the result of the Amenia Town Board knowing that there will be a major reduction in revenue due to the COVID pandemic’s effect on sales tax revenue and other factors and [we’re] doing the best job that we can to keep taxes down and still cover the costs and expenses that we are required to pay.”

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