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New Castle 2012 Budget Shows Small Tax Increase

NEW CASTLE, N.Y. – With only weeks remaining before a budget must be adopted for 2012, New Castle Town Administrator Penny Paderewski presented the town’s preliminary 2012 budget on Wednesday and revealed what it means for its residents.

According to Paderewski, the constraints of the two percent tax cap means residents with an average assessment of $172,900 will see about a $49 increase from their 2011 bills when it comes to the town’s general and highway funds.

At 62 percent, most of the budget is reserved for those funds. “That’s where most of our services come from: police, recreation, highway, your services that clean the roads,” said Paderewski.

Filling out the town’s portion of the taxes are the water district at 24 percent, refuse district at 9 percent, and special districts at 5 percent. None of those districts saw an increase for 2012.

She said one thing residents may find surprising is that New Castle’s total budget makes up 14 percent of their residents’ tax bills, while Weschester County’s makes up 13 percent, and, at $17,417.79, the Chappaqua Central School District makes up 73 percent.

"A lot of people ask me how much the town portion of the tax bill is, and they're really amazed when they look into it," said town board member John Buckley.

Recently, the district polled residents on how they felt about the school’s high taxes. While 96 percent said that taxes are “already too high,” the poll said residents ultimately understood that they are probably necessary to maintain a certain level of education.

The cutbacks mean the town will lose seven and a half employees. There will be one less in the town clerk’s office, two less in the recreation department, two non-officers in the police department, two in the department of public works, and half of a person in the court.

“We are clearing, cleaning, maintaining 100 miles of roads with nine men and one foreman,” said Paderewski. “In 2009, we had 14 men with one foreman doing the same work.” By comparison, she said Bedford has 135 miles of road with 26 workers.

In January, the town will be applying for a bond to help with projects, including: ongoing work in the Millwood and Chappaqua Hamlets, painting of the train station, replacing windows in the Community Center, and purchasing three new dumptrucks for the highway department.

“We have borrowed from ourself long enough, and we need to go out and pay for some of these projects we have financed ourselves,” said Paderewski. She expects the bond to be between $5 million and $6 million. The board is scheduled to vote on the budget on Tuesday, Dec. 13.

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