Saratoga Springs adopts 2021 budget, includes 6% tax rate increase

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The City of Saratoga Springs City Council unanimously adopted the 2021 budget on Monday. The general fund operating budget totals $46.226M, compared to the 2020 budget of nearly $49M. Each department offered efficient and resourceful reductions, including the maintaining of employee wages at 2020 rates for the entire year, according to the council.

This flexible budget will go in to effect on Jan. 1 and can be amended in early 2021 as opportunities arise.

There will be a 6% tax rate increase, the first increase in Commissioner of Finance Michele Madigan’s nine-year tenure. This equates to an additional monthly payment on a home assessed at $200K of $6; a home assessed at $400K of $12; a home assessed at $650K of $20. The tax rates per $1,000 of home assessment value are $6.4331 for taxpayers living in the inside district and $6.3714 for taxpayers living in the outside district.

This budget will include federal aid. Amounts in aid coincide with 2021 annual NYS retirement contribution costs and will be earmarked for balancing this expense. Medigan said that the city usually pays the retirement fund ‘early’ in December to receive a significant discount. The city may choose the one-time payment reset opportunity and pay retirement on time, in February of 2022, in an effort to avoid layoffs in 2021.

The Recreation budget has been redesigned to be more budget neutral, and as participation fluctuates, so too can revenue and expense needs.

Revenue increases for the sale of city property and NYRA general admissions cut at half the amount received in 2019, based on NYRA’s new calculation system. Revenue decreases are included for sales tax; mortgage tax, VLT aid, and the use of fund balance to balance the budget.

“The 2021 Budget has been a unique challenge. It is the result of the support of many stakeholders facing difficult times, including taxpayers, local businesses, non-profits, state governments, City employees, and especially the members of this City Council. The community-wide collaborative effort has been truly outstanding and is sincerely appreciated,” said Commissioner Madigan.

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