Cobleskill hopes to cut 11 percent increase


By Patsy Nicosia

The Village of Cobleskill’s first-round budget for 2011 shows an 11 percent increase.
But like the town, which has been meeting to whittle down its own 11 percent budget hike, Mayor Ted Brinkman said work has already begun working on cuts.
“We need to bring that down,” Mayor Brinkman said last Tuesday after presenting trustees with a snapshot of the tentative $2.6 million budget.
“The department heads are already working on it to see what they can do.”
The village planned to hold its first budget workshop last night, Tuesday.
Mayor Brinkman said one of the village’s biggest problems remains the number of tax-exempt properties within its borders; 49.6 percent of the property in the village is tax-exempt, he said.
Having Guilford Mills off the tax rolls costs the village between $3 and $4 million in tax assessments, he said, and though that property appears to have been sold, it will be a while before that’s reflected in taxes.
It’s a difficult time for the county budget as well, but Mayor Brinkman said with the village the center for economic development, “we need to get something in return,”—a nod to ongoing requests for a bigger share of sales tax revenues.
The tentative budget estimates tax assessments at 146,594, down about $3,500 from 2010, and the amount to be raised by taxes, $1.8 million.
As it stands, the tax rate is set at $12.39 per $1,000 of assessed value, a $1.27 increase.
Mayor Brinkman said increases come largely in pension and health insurance costs as well as increased costs for things like fuel and electricity.
“All of our outside costs are up and our revenues are down,” he added.