Weekly Feature

2018-10-10 / Front Page

Town’s 2019 budget proposal exceeds tax cap

by ANNA DEROSA Associate Editor

Town of Amherst Supervisor Brian Kulpa is proposing to exceed the tax cap in the 2019 tentative budget.

Kulpa said he had to ask the question: Do we want to continue to grow the town?

He believes the future of the town is going to be in a better trajectory and this is “sort of a one-year reset where they have to bite the bullet.”

Kulpa also noted that expenses, that the town is committed to, have increased throughout the years so money has to be raised to pay for it.

The 2019 tax levy — the amount of money needed to be raised by property taxes — stands at $80,343,504, a 7.32 percent increase from the 2018 tax levy of $74,864,315.

Also in the proposed budget, the tax rate would rise around 1.73 percent by next year.

For example, the owners of a home assessed at $150,000 would see property taxes go up by $18.61, while owners of a home assessed at $200,000 would see an increase of $24.81. And, an owner of a home assessed at $250,000 would see an increase of $31.02.

The spending plan of $133,988,901 carries an approximately $6.6 million overall increase from the current year of $127,360,281.

The predominant increases are due to employee wages and health insurance, debt payments, and costs needed to manage garbage and recyclable materials.

The amount for wages totals $2,102,448.37, which includes new positions.

Kulpa noted that the new positions are a sewer position, sewer treatment plant operator, a planning position, code enforcement officer and two school resource officers.

A school resource officer will be added in Amherst Central Schools and Williamsville Central Schools.

“The town deals with the security of all our residents and all of our businesses and all of our people within the town. That said, we talked to the school districts, and they’re going to create an offset,” Kulpa said, adding that the districts are matching a little less than 50 percent of the officers.

The budget will be discussed by the Town Board during its next two meetings, which are scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15, and 29, at the Amherst Municipal Building, 5583 Main St., Williamsville.

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