Highland budget approved

ELDRED, NY — After pertinent public hearings, the Highland Town Board at a rescheduled October 13 meeting approved a local law to exceed the state budget cap, and also approved the 2017 budget and a zoning amendment that incorporated a state model-permit application for small (12kw) solar-power units.


The budget cap exception was necessary because the town’s preliminary budget called for 1.85% tax increase, while the state ceiling was set at 1.67%.


However, the exception may be a moot issue, as Supervisor Jeff Haas said the new assessment roll shows a $1.87 million increase in taxable properties. “I don’t foresee any change at all on taxes at the town level,” Haas said of the budget. The new taxables could provide a small decrease in town taxes in the January town and county property tax bill.


The 2017 budget calls for general and highway appropriations totaling $2,309,325, an increase of $38,300 or 1.69% from the current year. It will require a tax levy $1,843,622, an increase of $33,527 or 1.85% above the current year.


The board also approved a local law amending town zoning to include a three-page “Expedited Solar Permit Process for Small-Scale Electric Systems” application provided by New York State’s NY-Sun solar initiative. In addition to being the town’s first zoning law reference to solar energy, the permit application was said to be the town’s first step in taking advantage of financial incentives associated with the state solar initiative.


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