Nov. 15—BRASHER — Following a public hearing last week, the Brasher Town Board has adopted a 2024 budget that will bring a slight increase in the tax rate for Brasher taxpayers.
Town Supervisor Mark A. Peets said the tax rate will be $3.7170 per $1,000 of assessed value.
"That is under the tax cap and an increase of 4 cents per $1,000 from the 2023 budget. I don't think it's over the top We didn't have to go over the cap. We were actually right at the cap just like we have been for the past few years," he said.
He said the $2,578,880 budget calls for $653,593 to be raised by taxes, including $234,943 in the general fund and $247,900 in the highway fund.
Under the budget, salaries that were set were $18,000 for the supervisor, $5,000 per councilor ($20,000 total), $38,500 for the town clerk, $12,000 per town justice ($24,000 total), $63,500 for the highway superintendent, and $26.78 per hour for highway employees.
Peets said they had to make adjustments to this year's budget for various reasons, including unexpected repairs on vehicles, ensuring the town's vehicles were compliant with emission standards, and attorney fees related to litigation with Slic over taxes on land where they had their equipment.
"We actually had quite a bit of litigation. That was definitely over the top, " he said.
The cost of fuel was also an unknown factor, as it will be in the 2024 budget.
"This year we're moving stuff around within the budget to make up for that hole," Peets said.
The town has typically had casino gaming compact funds to help with some of the expenses such as road repair, but that has been negligible, he said.
"We try to do something more with casino money, more than we would with our CHIPS (Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program). That's difficult because we haven't gotten any since December 2022, which was a one-shot deal. I'm sparingly using that," he said.