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Lebanon supervisor proposes one percent tax increase

Town Supervisor Jim Goldstein has submitted his tentative town budget for 2010 to the Lebanon Town Board for consideration in which he proposes a 1 percent tax increase in the local tax levy and a reduction of approximately 25 percent in the town property tax rate.

Goldstein said that he did not rule out recommending additional cuts if necessary to ensure no tax increase for 2010, depending on what he and fellow Lebanon Town Board members decide about highway expenditures and what financial totals in October reveal about highway salt, sand and fuel expenditures for winter.

Goldstein submitted a budget to town board members that will total $781,323 for 2010, an overall increase of $13,001 in total spending from the 2009 town budget, which is $768,322, or about a 2 percent increase. The principal increases are in the town's highway fund budget for local road repairs, fuel, sand, salt, highway materials, equipment replacement or repair costs, rising state retirement and related labor costs. The town's general fund shows a slight reduction from 2009.

"In keeping with my commitment to not use the town's revaluation to hide tax increases, the tax levy will remain relatively flat and the average homeowner's actual tax rate should remain about the same as last year," Goldstein said.

The proposed tax levy of $368,523 for 2010 is a slight increase over the $364,171 amount in 2009, or approximately 1 percent, but Goldstein said that his revenue projections are very conservative and that there might be opportunities to make up that 1 percent and have no tax increase in his discussions with the town board in October prior to final approval of the town budget.

The town-wide revaluation in 2009 will reduce the overall town tax rate from $6.265297 in 2009 per $1,000 of assessed valuation of property to $4.688 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, a reduction of 25 percent. Total taxable assessments were increased through the three town revaluation, which included Georgetown and Eaton, from $58,125,234 to $78,613,921, or an increase of 35 percent in total assessed valuation.

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