Bath Town taxpayers’ rate rises

Mary Perham
Municipal Building, Bath, NY

The Bath Town board is poised to approve Monday a tentative 2013 budget that will raise town taxpayers’ rates 8.8 percent in January.

The vote will follow a public hearing on the budget slated before the regular town board meeting set for 7 p.m.

According to the proposed budget, taxes in the villages of Bath and Savona and hamlet of Kanona will drop 5.8 percent next year.

The proposed $3.4 million budget carries a tax levy of nearly $1.8 million, a levy increase of about $70,000 compared to the current tax levy of $1.7 million.

The proposed town tax rate increase is $9.46 per $1,000, a 77-cent hike compared to the current tax rate of $8.69 per $1,000. If approved by the board Monday, the increase means the owner of a $100,000 property in town will pay $77 more in taxes next year.

Property owners in the villages and Kanona will see a 22-cent tax rate decrease from $3.78 per $1,000 this year down to $3.56 per $1,000 in 2012. The drop means the owner of $100,000 property in the villages will pay $22 less in taxes next year.

The bare-bones 2012 budget passed last year allowed the board to use more than $355,000 in unspent general and highway money to offset increases next year.

But like every town and municipality in Steuben County, the town struggles to meet soaring insurance and pension costs while revenues show a slight increase. And like every municipal board, Bath officials voted to override the state’s 2 percent property tax cap.

Unlike most towns, Bath also has an unusually high number of tax-exempt properties, due to the village of Bath’s position as the county seat.

Key increases next year include salaries and a jump of $27,000 in retirement contributions, Insurance and worker’s compensation will remain relatively flat between the two years.