BRAINARDSVILLE –– Property owners in the town of Bellmont would see their general taxes go up about 8 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value under the town’s proposed 2021 budget.
The combined tax rate for the general and highway funds in the $1.8 million spending plan would raise taxes from the current $3.92 per $1,000 to $4 per thousand, an increase that would cost the owner of a property assessed at $100,000 an additional $8 next year.
That total does not include the levies for town’s various special districts, which are paid only by the property owners in those districts. The district levies would add between 20 cents per $1,000 in the Chateaugay Lake Water Control District to a total of $340 in the Brainardsville Sewer District to the respective tax bills.
A new special district created this year, the Bellmont Ambulance District, would add roughly $111,000 to the total spending amount. That district, which will be joined with similar districts in the towns of Burke and Chateaugay, will provide create a 24-hour paid emergency medical response in the three communities.
The Bellmont district would serve the northern portion of the town; the southern portion is served by the Owls Head-Mountain View Volunteer Fire Department.
The ambulance service is expected to add $1 per $1,000 to the tax rate of those within the district.
The deadline for anyone objecting to the creation of the district to file a petition calling for a referendum vote has passed, and the Town Board voted Wednesday to move forward with the merged district.
Town Supervisor H. Bruce Russell cautioned that several line items in the budget are not yet finalized, but he said he does not foresee any significant changes in the overall spending plan. Among the areas still undecided is the amount of revenue the town will receive for plowing county roads within the town.
Town officials have pressed the county to significantly increase the amount they are paid for plowing County Route 24, also known as the Brainardsville Road, because of the high volume of traffic that travels that roadway. County officials for their part are attempting to negotiate a contract that would cover all 18 towns that perform the service. The town of Harrietstown does not participate in the contract.
Total spending in the general fund, which pays for most general government services, will increase about $3,500 in the coming year. The biggest spending bump is a $10,000 increase in the allocation to pay the principal and interest on loans taken out to finance the reconstruction of the town’s two highway garages.
Spending in the highway fund will rise by about $9,000, driven largely by increases in salaries and benefit costs for the department’s workers.