Beacon Council Approves Budget

Includes modest decrease in property taxes

By Jeff Simms

The typical Beacon homeowner will receive a property tax break of between $40 and $65 next year based on the city’s 2017 budget, which was adopted by the City Council Dec. 5.

Although the total assessed value of properties in Beacon rose, the budget includes a 2.43 percent tax decrease on homes and a 0.43 percent decrease on commercial properties. That amounts to about $43 on a home assessed at $200,000 and $64 for a $300,000 home.

The $19.65 million budget includes the addition of a police officer — bringing the total to 35, including 28 on patrol — and the continuation of an afterschool program run with the Beacon school district, yet stays within the state-mandated 2 percent tax cap and offers residents the tax break, the first since 2008. The budget was adopted unanimously by the council after there were no comments during a public hearing, also held Dec. 5.

Instituted in 2012, the tax cap requires school districts and local governments to raise property taxes each year by no more than 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. The 2017 allowable increase is 0.68 percent.

The tax decrease only applies to Beacon property taxes, not school district taxes, which voters are asked to approve each May. The Dutchess County budget scheduled for a vote on Dec. 8 also includes a proposed property tax break.

Other Beacon budget highlights include:

  • A 10 percent increase in sewer rates with residential water costs unchanged.
  • More than $250,000 in recreation spending, which will fund the city swimming pool for another summer.
  • Usage of $162,980 from city savings, down from $247,500 last year.

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