MIDDLETOWN – It’s that time of year when local governments begin the process of putting together a budget for the following year.
In New York, they must stay within the state-mandated tax cap and the two percent cap in 2016 is actually .73 percent. As a result, the City of Middletown will only be able to collect an additional $132,000 in property taxes. That causes a problem since health insurance costs will increase by $250,000.
Mayor Joseph DeStefano told the common council Tuesday night the city has created a vacancy review committee to look at whether vacant positions should be filled.
“That would include police, fire and civil service and that means most positions cannot be filled until the board of estimate discusses and agrees,” DeStefano said. “We are talking about reducing vacancies. If we have five vacancies in police, we are talking about reducing filling those positions maybe down to three positions being filled and you can understand why.”
If the city stays under the tax cap, residents could be eligible for rebates next year.