Last night at a Special meeting of the Hartford Town board, both the Supervisor’s Preliminary Budget and new 3 year Fire Service contract passed. Both of these items had a public hearing right before the Town board voted.
The Budget will see the following decreases in the Tax Levy (amount to be raise in taxes); Townwide -15%, Fire District -0.5%.
The budget includes a new $10,500 line item for the creation of a Hartford Economic Developement Corporation. For years people have said that we need more businesses in town to help offset our tax levy. Wishing for this to happen has not worked to well for us so far. So, I created funding for this to form an entity that will have as its sole focus the economic developement of the town. Hartford does not have the infrastructure (sewer, natural gas piped in, city water, etc.) required for heavy industry but we do have plenty of space for light industry. Even though we may not be able to get the “big brass ring” of economic developement, lots of smaller ones can add up to the benefit of the town’s tax base. Now we will need to solicit resumes for Hartford individuals interested on serving on the EDC/LDC Board of directors. I envision local business owners serving as board members, perhaps 5 of them?. Successful business owners that have the knowledge to assist in business developement, not owners that have declared bankruptcy several times over. This Board would be appointed by the Hartford Town Board.
When you get your County & Town Tax Bill in the mail in January, you will see that the percentage of change from last year will be shown as a negative value. Funny enough, but Washington County prints this tax bill and ran a test run on the Hartford decreases. They are having a little difficulty getting the -15.0 to print out right because they have never had to contend with a negative double digit number before! The -15.0 rides up against the column where they show the total town tax levy and the resulting number looks a little bit like a tax parcel ID number with all its commas, periods and dashes. Bill McCarty, at Washington County Real Property tells me that he will continue working on the format of the tax bill so that the -15.0 % will appear in a clearly understandable way.
I would suggest that everyone keep their old 2010 tax bill handy in the future years to see how long we can sustian this tax relief program. Hopefully, the amount of money you were taxed in 2010 on the townwide line will be the highest burden for quite a while. Hopefully, it will take about another 4 to 5 years of lowered taxes before the levy gets anywhere near the old 2010 level.