There was no public comment when the Town of Warwick held its public hearing on the 2021 tentative budget on Nov. 5. The $21,096,962 budget was expected to be adopted Thursday, Nov. 19.
What it will cost taxpayers
Homeowners within the villages of Florida and Greenwood Lake will see a 3 percent decrease in their town tax bill, a drop of $10.85 for the owner of the average house.
Homeowners in the Village of Warwick will see a $3 increase in their town taxes. The Village of Warwick contracts with the town for police services.
Residents of the town outside of the villages will see a 0.24 percent increase, equal to about $2.70 on the average house.
The town uses a home with a value of $333,000 as its average. The assessment is at 15 percent of that so the average house has an assessed value of $50,000. Homeowners in the town outside of the villages will pay $22.73 per $1,000 of their assessed value. Homeowners in the villages of Greenwood Lake and Florida will pay $6.80 per $1,000 of assessed value. Village of Warwick homeowners will pay $7.12 per $1,000 of assessed value.
Increases this year
The town remained under the state tax cap, which was approximately $280,000, according to Supervisor Michael Sweeton, but, like last year, the town board used surplus funds to stay within the cap.
Healthcare costs rose 8 percent. Retirement costs for police rose 20 percent rose and 9.1 percent for non-police employees, according to Sweeton.
Recycling costs also made a dent in the budget.
“Recycling has become a real issue in terms of cost because the market for recyclable materials was primarily China and that market dissipated several years ago,” Sweeton said. “Subsequently, when we had to renew our contract for recycling, it was about 50 percent higher to renew it and that bid was the lowest bid. The other two bids were almost 100 percent higher.”
Sweeton added that the yearly cost per household is now $66, “still a fair price for what you’re getting.” Previously, the cost was $42 per year per household for the weekly recycling pick up.
However, that took $220,000 of the tax cap amount, leaving just $60,000 for the remainder of the budget.
“Working together, the town board, our town employees and I have completed the proposed 2021 town budget,” Sweeton said. “We worked hard to remain under the NYS Tax Cap despite another round of unfunded mandates by New York State and a loss of revenue due to the Covid pandemic.
“Overall, this is a very modest budget,” he added. “The challenge is it doesn’t allow us to do the things that we believe will be beneficial, but that is the age in which we live.”
Special districts’ budget also adopted
The town also adopted its budget for special districts within the town, including water, sewer, lighting, ambulance and fire districts.
The total for the special districts is $8,713,465. Only residents who live in a special district pay the taxes for that district.
The budget is available to view on the town’s website, www.townofwarwick.org.