On October 26th, Supervisor Thomas N. Wood III (R-Town of Saratoga), Chair of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors' Law & Finance Committee, released the County's 2011 Tentative Budget. This $294 million budget continues to hold the line on spending for the second straight year. Wood is also pleased to announce that, once again, the 2011 budget will keep the average County Property Tax Rate at $2.155 per thousand of assessed value and that the County Sales Tax will remain at 3%, the lowest of any of the Capital District counties. “Throughout the budget process I’ve been very mindful of the sacrifices that our residents have had to make in this tough economy, and have developed a spending plan that won’t jeopardize their ability to survive financially," said Wood. "I think this budget should make every County resident very happy."
Although Wood's 2011 budget continues to preserve the County’s tradition of having a conservative spending philosophy, it does contain funds for a few new programs, including $10,000 for various youth initiatives to provide our future leaders with an appreciation of how certain historical events helped shape our communities and government. There is also funding being provided for the Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Equine Program to recommit our effort to provide this critical countywide industry with the support and guidance it needs to survive as a major component of our County’s economy and identity. The budget will also continue to support the County's pledge to protect its rural character with another $500,000 for the Open Space and Farmland Preservation Program and will also provide continued funding for the trail program to make County forest lands more accessible to the public. Supervisor Matthew Veitch (R-Saratoga Springs) chaired the committee responsible for this work in 2010. As a Supervisor from a Town that contains thousands of acres in farmland and forest land, Wood is a staunch supporter of this program. "The County has more than 3,000 acres of forest land, and it's important that our residents get to enjoy it. I'll be looking for input from all over the County to expand the plan."
Saratoga County Board of Supervisors Chair Willard Peck (R-Northumberland) congratulated Wood on preparing a solid budget that holds the line on taxes. "Tom has done a terrific job in putting this budget together," said Peck. "Saratoga County taxpayers can rest assured that they are paying the lowest property tax rates in New York State.