See here for the 2023 final budget adopted by the Town Board on 11/15/2022.
In this budget, we focused on raising wages of town employees to stay as much in line with the federal COLA as possible, which is 8.7% for 2023 (the highest it has been since 1981!) while still staying significantly below our tax cap requirements. Most employees saw a 6-8% increase in wages with 5 positions also receiving a longevity adjustment. Four of these positions had current employees who were still making the starting rates for the position, after working for the town for 3 years or more. One of these positions had a current employee who was only making $1 per hour over the starting rate for the position, after working for the town for over 10 years. We adjusted these rates at $0.25 per year worked for the town before applying the 5% COLA and 1-3% evaluation based raise for these employees.
In addition to getting as close to the federal COLA as possible for wages, we also took the current increase in sales tax revenue and invested it into one time infrastructure improvements in Shatford Park (a complete rebuild of the splash pad and a new installation of a skatepark). While we hope the increased revenues from sales tax will continue, there is a likely chance that it will drop in the coming year or years. To ensure responsible budgeting we didn’t invest this temporary increase in revenue into our operating budget but rather invested in projects with one time expenses that will not carry over year to year.
While accomplishing these goals as well as budgeting for much higher operating numbers in 2023 to adjust for the current high prices for everything from fuel to materials, the town board also managed to stay well below the allowable tax cap. The total to be raised by taxes increased by only $11,323 or 1.28%. The town was allowed to increase the total to be raised by taxes as much as $34,086 and stayed at less than 1/3 of what was allowed.
As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions, comments or concerns to email@example.com.
Tistrya Houghtling, Town Supervisor
Town of New Lebanon