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Taxes to climb in Lake George

LAKE GEORGE - Tax rates are scheduled to increase in Lake George in 2010 despite a decrease in total spending, according to a town budget adopted recently by the town board.

Officials approved a 2010 budget of just more than $4 million at a special Town Board meeting Nov. 18.

The spending plan calls for spending $2.2 million on general government appropriations townwide, a reduction of about $105,000 from 2009 - offset by $681,000 in revenue, leaving $1,535,000 to be raised by taxes townwide.

This sum is an increase of $196,139 over 2009, representing a 14.6 percent increase in property taxes to be levied. The tax rates for townwide expenditures is expected to be $2.03 per thousand of assessed valuation, a 12.8 increase over last year.

Town Supervisor Lou Tessier said the increase in tax levy, despite the $105,000 decrease in spending, was due to falling revenues from sales tax and state reimbursements.

The budget also calls for $571,000 to be spent on general government appropriations outside Lake George village, offset by the same amount in revenue.

Highway appropriations are a different matter.

The budget calls for spending $1,285,600 on highway appropriations outside the village, a tenfold increase over 2009, which is offset by $1,099,500 in revenues, leaving $186,100 to be raised by taxes, compared to a zero sum in 2009.

The tax rate for highway expenses outside the village is expected to be 31 cents per thousand of assessed valuation in 2010 for this segment of the budget.

Town Comptroller Kathy Gleason said this was the first time in more than a decade there's been a tax levied on properties that only lie outside the village.

She cited increase in retirement costs, and hospitalization squeezing the budget this year, and depletion of town cash surpluses as prompting the increases.

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