Middletown budget shows 6.9% tax hike

By Julia Green
Town of Middletown taxpayers will face a 6.9 percent property tax hike if the town’s preliminary budget is adopted following a public hearing on Nov. 5.
After an Oct. 7 meeting to discuss the tentative 2009 budget, the Middletown Town Board adopted the tentative budget as the preliminary budget at its monthly meeting on Oct. 14. The budget reflects a 6.9 percent tax levy increase, which translates to a $147,324 total tax increase, excluding special districts.
A total budget of $3,277,040 is estimated for Middletown’s general fund and water and lighting districts, with $2,305,216 to be raised by taxes.
The town’s general fund shows $951,007 in appropriations and provisions for other uses, down from $956,472 shown in the amended 2008 budget, and with $632,957 to be raised by taxes. An estimated $1,067,185 was allocated for the highway department, with $927,185 of that anticipated to be tax-funded.
Under the umbrella of general government support, for which $503,985 was allocated, fall the salaries of town officials, elections, buildings, and mailing costs. Public safety was allocated $16,121, $70,000 was allotted to help Margaretville Memorial Hospital run its ambulance, and $61,418 for transportation costs. $104,940 was allotted for home and community services, $3,343 for culture and recreation, and $3,200 for economic assistance opportunities.
The $1,067,185 budgeted for town-wide highway department appropriations compared with $994,430 in the amended 2008 budget. Outside the village, highway department appropriations were shown to be $1,047,545, up from $946,115 last year.
There were very few major line-item hikes as compared with last year’s budget, with the biggest single-line increases resulting from hikes in things like heating oil, highway materials and fuel prices.
The preliminary budget will be the subject of a public hearing on Wednesday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. at the Middletown Town Hall. For residents of the Town of Middletown, copies of the tentative town budget for the coming fiscal year are available from the Town Clerk’s Office in the Middletown Town Hall building. Public comments will be accepted at the Nov. 5 meeting.