Orangetown to Raise Fire Inspection Fees

An increase in fire inspection fees and a series of small tax settlements make up the bulk of the agenda for Tuesday's Orangetown Town Board meeting.

One option the Orangetown Council raised during its discussions of the 2013 budget is to examine all town fees to see if they are due to be updated.

During Orangetown Fire Inspector Mike Bettmann's presentation to the town board Sept. 13, the town council asked Bettmann to provide a budget for his department with a 10 percent raise of all fees, which had not gone up since 1996.

The town board will vote on a resolution approving new fire inspection fees at its meeting 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night at the town hall. The new fees are included in the agenda for the meeting attached to this report. 

"Throughout the budget process, we have been looking for fee schedules that hadn't been updated in a while," Orangetown Supervisor said. 

The agenda also includes the approval of six tax settlements, though the dollar amounts are relatively small.

"These are not very large, though the bigger ones are coming," Orangetown Assessor Brian Kenney said.

The town council and Kenney discussed the possibility of charging fees to process tax challenges as a response to the high number of them coming in.

Under the current law, there is no risk for somebody filing a challenge. The tax rate either stays the same or decreases. 

"This represents a tremendous difference from the work we had to do as short as three or four years ago," Kenney said. "We have 500 of these. Clarkstown has 2,000. Even when the person has no case, we have to go through all the steps."


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