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Clarendon lowers tax rate by 21 cents

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 18 November 2015 at 12:00 am

CLARENDON – Residents in Clarendon will see a drop in town property taxes in 2016. Members of the Clarendon Town Board Tuesday evening adopted the final 2016 budget, which includes a tax rate of $4.79 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. That’s a drop of 21 cents per $1,000 from the 2015 budget.

“That’s phenomenal,” Town Supervisor Richard Moy said of the decrease.

The budget includes $1.4 million total town appropriations for the General Fund and Highway. Special Districts (water) and Clarendon Fire Department appropriations total $772,715.30.

Moy said the tax rate comes in under the tax cap. Board members approved two revisions to the preliminary budget to accomplish that.

They removed $10,000 from contingency in the general fund, decreasing the line from $64,920 to $54,920 and removed $20,000 from highway funds for general repairs contractual expenses.

In other business, board members discussed amending the town’s zoning ordinance regarding building permits. Currently, no building permit is required if the structure is under 144 square ft. The town is considering changing that to include all new structures in Clarendon.

Moy said problems have arisen with structures being placed on property lines or over property lines. The smaller structures are also assessable, he explained, and requiring a permit would make them easier to find for assessment purposes.

Town Board member Paul Nicosia said bigger towns in the area do not require smaller structures, such as sheds purchased at “big box” stores, to have a building permit, but Clarendon Town Attorney Karl Essler explained that is because with larger populations, it would require more effort from those towns.

He said disputes between neighbors over smaller structures can become expensive for property owners and, “burdensome from a time standpoint for the town.”

Town Board members will work on drafting a proposal for the change before scheduling a public hearing.