Levy rises in 2024 budget by 8.3 percent
The Philipstown Town Board on Wednesday (Nov. 15) unanimously approved a $12.9 million budget for 2024 that raises the tax levy by 8.3 percent after councilors voted to override the state’s 2 percent cap on annual increases.
The budget for 2024 calls for an overall levy — the amount of total taxes to be collected from properties — of $9.5 million, compared to $8.8 million this year.
Individual properties will be taxed at a rate of $3.385 per $1,000 of assessed value, an increase of 13.16 percent. The hike for properties outside the town’s two villages, Cold Spring and Nelsonville, will rise by 4.4 percent, to $3.799.
Supervisor John Van Tassel blamed the levy increase on a 30 percent drop in revenues from mortgage taxes; a decrease in fees collected by the Recreation Department for its programs; and the cost of supplying water to the Garrison’s Landing and Continental Village districts during infrastructure upgrades.
State law allows municipalities to exceed the 2 percent cap if 60 percent of their legislators approve. Van Tassel said he is “not pleased” with the amount of the tax hike. “I hope we’re never going to do another increase like this,” he said.
Van Tassel’s salary will remain unchanged at $27,000 in 2024, and the four Town Board members will each earn the same $18,000 they were paid this year.
However, some officials and employees will receive raises. The salary for Tara Percacciolo, the town clerk and tax collector, will rise by 7.4 percent, to $67,000, and for Adam Hotaling, the highway superintendent, by 5.3 percent, to $100,000. Both are elected positions.
Van Tassel said last month that keeping salaries at 2023 levels makes only “a minuscule amount of difference,” and he expressed fears that Philipstown could lose good staff without the pay boosts.