IT’S OFFICIAL: Taxes up in Ramapo

BY KATHY KAHN 

ramThe Town of Ramapo’s last official board meeting on Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. found a dozen residents waiting to hear how last minute budget resolutions would affect them.

Ramapo’s $102 million budget for fiscal 2017 carries between a 5-7 percent increase to property owners, depending on where the property is located. Since the approved budget is higher than the state’s mandated tax cap, homeowners won’t be seeing a rebate check from Albany next year.

A few last minute changes were made: the town transferred $200,000 from the General Fund and  “loaned” it to the Highway Department and firmed up its plan to hire 15 new police officers, adding to the 94 officers currently on staff.

“We are adding new officers because it is cheaper than paying overtime,” said Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence, noting that several officers had. The new hires will cost the town nearly $5 million.

For both St. Lawrence and town residents, 2017 will prove to be an interesting year, since the supervisor’s federal corruption trial is scheduled to begin in April.