Wednesday, November 10, 2010

2011 City of Hudson Budget

The proposed budget for 2011 is now available on the City of Hudson website. The mil rate (the tax per $1,000 in assessed value) is 12.198420, down from 14.770500 in 2010--a 17 percent decrease. The total taxable value of properties in Hudson increased from 303,174,231 to 373,232,346, so the taxes on a hypothetical property assessed at $150,000 in 2009 and $250,000 in 2001 will increase from $2,215.58 to $3,049.61--an increase of 38 percent.

In his presentation, Mayor Richard Scalera highlighted these details of the proposed budget. (The following six points are quoted directly from the text of the mayor's presentation.)

1. There will not be salary increases for elected officials, Department Heads, PT 40-hr employees as well as PT hourly employees. The Police Union has previously negotiated a 3% increase for 2011 and CSEA is currently in contract discussions with the city.

2. The long time vacant Washington Hose building noted in last year's message as "quickly approaching when it would be beyond repair," has $350,000 appropriated for immediate restoration work but we also include $300,000 in expected revenues from the sale of City-owned properties to help offset the overall expense.

3. In the Assessor's office the part-time clerk position was cut and added was $68,000 toward the overall cost of a professional revaluation.

4. The city bus operations will be changed over in early January as we now will work within a Cooperative Agreement with the county. The Bus will continue to provide transportation from the City to the surrounding retailers in Greenport and back with expanded hours from the current schedule. This will represent a huge savings to the city and it's the beginning of what we hope to be many cooperative arrangements between the county, city and surrounding communities as we all search for ways to deliver services with cost savings in mind. This will also help our residents in seeking and securing job opporunities as well. 

5. Our water and sewer rates will not increase for fiscal year 2011, but with our new water-treatment plant online and our new waste-treatment plant scheduled to be completed next summer, the cost of new technology will undoubtedly be more and holding the line one rate increases of both funds in the future with all factors taken into consideration will be challenging.

6. Our Youth Department also has personnel cuts proposed for 2011 but more changes may be forthcoming. The fact is that we will review this Department to make sure that taxpayer monies spent for Youth Programs will be delivered in the most efficient and effective way possible. We look forward to positive public discussion on the matter and our goal is to use that input resulting in more changes in place by Jan. 1 2012.

A public hearing on the budget will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 17.


  1. 1) a 3% increase? will this dept never stop? didn't they just get a 3 year retroactive pay increase ?

    3) a virtual tornado in the assessors office and the "part time clerk" is released?

    ^) The Youth Department - WTF - don't even GO there

    flag day is here again

  2. Charles Hallenbeck, who lives in Greennport, submitted this comment:

    The arithmetic in your preamble to this post is correct, but the preamble misses the point anyway, I think. . . .

    You did not report that by your own figures the total taxable value of properties in Hudson increased by only 23%, nor that your example is based on an assessment increase of 67%. If your example had been based on a fairly prorated assessment increase of 23% instead of your arbitrary 67%, the total taxes would have been from 2215.54 to only 2263.72, or an increase of about 2%.

    Not to beat a dead horse any more than necessary, but it is the discrepancy between the expected assessment increase of 23% and your example of 67% that accounts for the apparent 38% increase of taxes. If your example correctly reflects somebody's actual change in assessment, and I have no doubt that it does, then it is the distortion in the way the the total taxable value of Hudson properties is distributed among property owners that is the issue to address, not the city's budget.

    In short, if you will pardon the vernacular, when somebody is getting screwed, somebody else is getting away with murder. Who has benefitted from the grossly unfair apportionment of changes in total taxable values? There has to be someone benefitting when someone else is singled out for unfair treatment.

    My point in summary: Had your hypotetical $150,000 assessment been adjusted in proportion to the total taxable value increase, the tax bill would only have risen 2%, not 38%.


  3. Chuck--I think you may have missed my point. There are few if any property owners in Hudson who saw their assessments increase by 23 percent. Most of them saw their assessments increase by 50, 100, 200, 300 percent. I was speaking for those people who, in the words of Sam Pratt, were disproportionately whacked by the most recent reval not those who escaped the assessor's bat.

    Property owners who came to the Common Council back in May to complain bitterly about what they considered inequitable assessments were told that a 100 percent increase in assessment didn't necessarily mean a 100 percent increase in property taxes. At the time that seemed disingenuous, and as it turns out it was. If all boats had risen together in terms of increased property value, we'd all be experiencing only a 1.67 percent increase in our taxes, but that's not the case. Those few property owners whose assessment did not increase will see a 17 percent decrease in their property taxes. Those whose assessments decreased--Mayor Scalera among them--will see a better than 17 percent decrease in their taxes.

  4. Carol, what about the total amount of the budget? That's what drives your tax increases and decreases. Each property should be fairly assessed when compared to other similar properties so everybody pays their fair share. If there are inequities, that is not happening.

  5. Jean,
    This is exactly what HPOC is fighting for.
    "No Assessment is Fair Until All Assessments Are Fair "