STONY CREEK — The tax rate for Stony Creek is going up 3.5 percent in the 2018 so the town can put more money into highway infrastructure.
The $1.48 million spending plan for the general and highway funds is an increase of about $96,000 from the current year.
The amount of money collected in taxes is increasing by about $15,000, to $763,000, which is $2,569 below the tax cap.
Supervisor Frank Thomas said the board had been increasing the tax rate by about a half-percent for the last four or five years. However, that was not going to last forever.
“We got to where we’re going to run out of money,” he said.
In addition to rising health insurance costs, Thomas said the budget is also hurt by a transitional assessment on state-owned property that decreases by about 1 1/2 percent every year.
“It keeps pushing our tax rate up,” he said.
The town wanted to put more money into the highway budget, according to Thomas.
The highway portion is increasing by $27,000, to $753,000.
“Like anything, it costs a whole lot more to pave a road than it used to,” he said.
It costs about $140,000 per mile to pave roads, according to town officials.
Because the tax levy increase has been below the cap for the last few years, the town had the ability to increase its tax levy.
Other sources of revenue in the budget include $320,000 in sales tax, $206,000 for services provided to other governments, $118,000 in state highway aid, $40,000 from occupancy tax, $19,000 from landfill fees, $7,000 in mortgage tax and $26,000 in miscellaneous revenue. The town is tapping almost $100,000 from fund balance.
Sales tax revenues have declined by about $25,000, according to Thomas.
There were 2-percent pay raises for union staff and $1 hourly increases for other positions, such as the youth director and assistant youth director, lifeguard and Board of Assessment Review members. The judge position received a raise from $11 per hour to $13 per hour, which Thomas said is the first raise in about 10 years.
The fire protection budget, which is solely funded by taxes in that district, is increasing by $1,803, to $117,652.