Weekly Feature

2018-03-08 / Front Page

No tax increase for village residents

Village stays under state tax cap for fifth straight year.

For the fifth consecutive year, residents in the Village of East Aurora will not see a tax increase. The news comes as village leaders released the tentative budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year during a meeting on Monday.

According to Village Administrator Bryan Gazda, the total amount in the general fund budget is nearly $8.02 million, a decrease of nearly $61,000 from 2017-18.

Gazda said he is recommending no tax increase. The total the village plans to collect in property taxes is estimated at $3.7 million, about $28,000 less than last year. The tax rate will remain the same, at about $17.40 per $1,000, as the taxable asset value decreased from $214 million to $212 million. Gazda says this is due to a $5.2 million reduction from 2017 in assessed value from Fisher-Price.

The budget also calls for a 2-percent salary increase for government officials and nonunion staff members. As for union members of the Police Department, a salary increase could be in the future as the village continues collective bargaining negotiations with the department. Gazda said all additional salary increases will come from the contingency account. Although fire dispatching services were decreased by $36,000 due to contact changes within the towns who receive this service, Gazda notes all nonunion, part-time dispatchers can expect to see a 20 cent increase in their salaries.

The budget also includes $48,000 for a new piece of snow removal equipment and $7,500 that would be used toward snowplow blades. Gazda explained that the equipment will reduce the amount of road salt needed, thus cutting the total cost of road salt from $116,000 to $99,000.

The tentative water fund will have a positive fund balance, or surplus, for the fiscal year, with a budgeted amount of $1.5 million. In the past year, Gazda said the village brought in $317,945, amounting to a 25 percent increase in funds from 2017-18. Gazda credits this to installation of water meters and rate adjustments that have been made in the past few years.

“The Water Fund has rebounded after several tough fiscal years,” Gazda reported. “Our current practice of adjusting the water and debt service rates annually has achieved the desired result of producing a positive fund balance.” He explained that the village must continue this practice if it is to maintain a positive fund balance each year.

A seminar further detailing the budget is set for 9 a.m. Saturday, March 10, at Village Hall, 571 Main St., East Aurora. Visit

www.east-aurora.ny.us to view the budget.

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