Chatham, Kinderhook town budgets finalized
Nov 09, 2020 3:30 pm
Emilia Teasdale is reporting for The Columbia Paper the towns of Kinderhook and Chatham have been at work developing their 2021 budgets. Towns throughout New York finalize spending plans in November and file them with their respective counties before the plans take effect on January 1. The Chatham Town Board held a public hearing on its preliminary budget last week. The board is proposing about a $3 million budget for the general and highway funds. In Kinderhook, the most populous town in the county, a public hearing was held October 21 on its 2021 proposed budget. There was no public comment offered. The total proposed spending plan is about $2.6 million. During a public workshop meeting, Kinderhook Supervisor Patsy Leader read a statement announcing the 2021 budget contained “a significant reduction in revenues.” Leader noted that even with a mortgage tax increase, the funds do not “get rid of the $90,000 shortfall in the budget.” The town used about $35,000 from its fund balance to reduce the tax levy, she said. The levy is below the state mandated tax cap and “there is no increase in [the] tax rate for 2021,” Leader said. Based on information received from the county, the anticipated sales tax revenue for 2021 “has been reduced by $94,000. This is down 18 percent from the amount budgeted for in 2020.” At Chatham’s weekly budget workshops in October the board reviewed funds with Tammy Shaw, assistant to the supervisor, and David Levow, chairman of the Planning and Finance Committee. Chatham Supervisor Donal Collins said he discussed the loss in revenues from court fines with the town justices and he said they painted a “little bit rosier picture for us.” Both town courts had to close due to the pandemic in March through June. Both Chatham and Kinderhook have talked about reductions in state funding for the highway departments, budgeting for less in Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program or CHIPS funding. Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.