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Harrison Proposes 3.85 Percent Property Tax Increase In 2014

Harrison's proposed budget for 2014 is $56,994,669.
Harrison's proposed budget for 2014 is $56,994,669. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue, file

HARRISON, N.Y. -- Property tax rates in Harrison would increase 3.85 percent next year, under  the proposed 2014 budget.

The proposed budget for 2014 is $56,994,669, an increase of $1,075,354 over the 2013 budget. The tax rate increase would be about $100 on a home valued at $500,000, according to Mayor Ron Belmont. The bulk of the budget increase is due to increases in salary, health and retirement costs for town employees, which make up 74 percent of the budget.

"We're very tight, we're down to the bones, we've had an increase of 1.9 percent total in the budget, and some of those increases in expenditures were due to New York state retirement system," said Belmont.

New York state retirement costs are expected to increase $207,318 next year, or 7.72 percent. Major medical costs are projected to increase $176,084, or 17.8 percent. Salary costs will increase $666,730, or 34.31 percent. Worker's compensation costs will increase $234,876, or 3.9 percent.

Debt services are expected to decrease $33,317, or 10.5 percent. Other costs expected to go up that aren't related to employee benefits and salaries include fuel and utilities, maintenance and repairs for equipment, street lighting, software and maintenance on public buildings.

"We are under the cap that the governor gave us, so we made it," said Comptroller Maureen MacKenzie, referring to the state-mandated cap on the property tax levy. Though property tax rates are expected to rise 3.85 percent, the tax levy is only increasing 1.04 percent, from $42,551,900 in 2013 to $44,348,079 in 2014.

"It was thanks to everybody in this town, the workers, the people of this town that we made it because, there's some cuts in here but services are all there. Nobody's lost any services," MacKenzie said.

MacKenzie will give a full presentation on the budget at the next Town Board meeting on Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the Harrison Municipal Building. The budget can be viewed online here on the Harrison website .

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