Woodbury residents expected to see 7.2 percent hike in tax rate

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:52

    HIGHLAND MILLS-The Woodbury Town Board was scheduled to vote Thursday night on a 2005 budget that would increase spending by $1.8 million and carry a 92-cent increase in the tax rate. Town officials spent the last month crafting a spending plan that now stands at $14.7 million, or about $1.8 million more than the $12.9 million budget they are operating under this year. Pending any last-minute changes at Thursday night's meeting, the tax rate next year would be $13.66 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. That would be a 92-cent increase in the current tax rate of $12.74 per $1,000. Owners of a house assessed at $250,000 would see their annual town tax bill increase 7.2 percent, or $230, to $3,415. "We are still fine tuning these figures but for the most part, it is pretty much set," Supervisor Sheila Conroy said in an interview earlier this week. "The town had to put additional money into retirement plans, and the stock market certainly didn't help matters during the past two-three years." In acknowledging that taxes "have to go up this year," Conroy also noted that the median price of homes in the town has increased between 20 and 25 percent in each of the last two years. "It has been extraordinary," she said. "The large constructions are driving up the average prices of the smaller homes." Some of the budget highlights include: • Spending on fire services increased to $669,000 from $655,000 in 2004. • Money spent on library services increase to $467,251 from $463,605 last year. • Waste removal and bulk pick-up has increased dramatically to $875,232 this year from $559,775 last year. "There were very few bidders," Conroy said. The overall amount to be raised by taxes would increase to $10 million, less $307,000 from Sewer District 1, Special District Cottonwood Court, Woodbury Common Business Import District and Water District 6. This year, that figure is $8,716,035, less $228,428 from the special districts. "I am looking for every possible way to save the town money," Conroy said, "and if there is a way in which the town can have additional funds, I will find these ways."