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New housing construction continues to fal

QUEENSBURY - Construction of new buildings has all but stalled and Warren County revenue streams are evaporating because of the trend.

According to Warren County Department of Fire Prevention and Building Code Administrator Karen Putney inspections of new buildings is down 16 percent compared to the same time period last year. Also, the county department has issued 23 percent fewer occupancy permits, she said.

"This is a hit to our revenue stream which we can't do anything about," Putney told county supervisors this week.

Over the last several months, supervisors have demanded that department heads reduce their operating budgets - including two dozen position eliminations - in order to reduce a $6.3 million budgetary deficit for fiscal year 2010.

According to Warren County Board of Supervisors Chairman Fred Monroe, if left untouched, county taxpayers would be required to shoulder a 17 percent property tax increase.

New construction isn't the only housing market indicator to take a turn for the worse in recent weeks.

Home sales are down nearly 150 parcels per month compared to last year, according to Warren County Department of Real Property Services Director Mike Swan.

In Johnsburg alone, mortgage tax revenue is down over 50 percent relative to 2008.

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