A secret before, Berne finally reveals much higher proposed 2024 tax rate
H. Rose Schneider reports in the Times Union that the Town of Berne left an around 800-percent increase from last year's tax rate off its 2024 town budget. This week, though, it is posted on the town website. The 2024 preliminary budget has an estimated tax rate of 4.6, or $4.60 to be paid for each $1,000 of a resident's assessed property value. Deputy Town Supervisor Anita Clayton said, "The budget was very low for the last two years to give residents a break for COVID." About a month ago, The Altamont Enterprise reported the the tax rate was not included in the budget. On Oct. 31 Berne Town clerk Kristin De Oliveira told the Times Union that the tax rate wasn't available beyond an estimate. But the next day, the rate was listed on the town's home web page. The town board unanimously voted to adopt the preliminary budget on Oct. 11, without the tax rate announced. This week, at 6 p.m. on Nov. 8 Berne holds a public hearing about the budget before the final vote. The story also says, "The comptroller's office said in January the town essentially ignored its financial recommendations in response to a 2021 audit that found the town board failed to oversee Berne's finances and illegally allowed then-Supervisor Sean Lyons to pay the town bills without the board. Then-Deputy Supervisor Dennis Palow is now the town supervisor." Berne is in southern Albany County. Read more about this story in the Times Union.