The Town Board, in a special meeting Wednesday, began reviewing the tentative 1998 budget prepared by Supervisor Allan LeBarron.
The spending proposal carries a tax-rate increase of about 57 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, up from this year's rate of $3.84, LeBarron said.
But that figure could change during the Town Board review of the budget and a public hearing. The town has until Nov. 20 to adopt its budget.
One factor in the fiscal outlook is a decrease of about 5 percent in the town's assessed property value.
LeBarron said court-ordered property-assessment reductions for Conrail and what is now Bell Atlantic, plus an agreement between the town and CPS printing ink manufacturer on Middle Road, led to the property-value reduction, which could lead to a tax increase.
The agreement with CPS followed the firm's challenge to assessment increase under the town's property-revaluation program. The town agreed to reduce the firm's assessment of about $3 million to about $1.75 million and eliminate a plan for payment in lieu of taxes.
In other budget matters, a 5 percent spending reduction is being proposed for the general fund. LeBarron said the decrease was obtained by reducing various appropriations and onetime costs.
A 4 percent increase in revenue is expected in the general fund because of $7,000 in increased revenues from court fees and the BFI medical-waste fees.
An overall 10.6 percent increase is being proposed for the highway fund, to cover debt service and a $60,000 increase in the machinery repair appropriation.
Wage increases are also being proposed in the budget, although there was no indication of who will receive them or how much they will be. Town Clerk Julie Szumigala said she did not request a salary increase.
In other business, Councilman Howard Gloss said Pennsylvania Avenue residents have asked about establishing a sewer district. LeBarron said the residents would have to send a petition to the town and outline the approximate area that would be covered.
He also said the town would have to pay the engineering costs upfront, with those costs being charged back to the residents of the sewer district.