Niagara Gazette

Lewiston

April 1, 2013

Proposed budget holds tax rate steady in Village of Lewiston

Niagara Gazette — Taxes for Village of Lewiston residents will remain the same throughout the next fiscal year.

Village trustees adopted the proposed 2013-14 spending plan at the village board's Monday meeting, holding steady on its charge to residents from the current year's level. The budget will ask for $7.12 per $1,000 assessed value to help fund $2.5 million in spending.

But while the the tax rate will remain the same, village employees of all kinds will receive a little something extra in their paychecks in the form of a 3 percent raise. Everyone from Mayor Terry Collesano and the four trustees to recreation and department of public works employees will see some form of the increase.

So, if the village handed out more money to people, how could it keep its taxes at the same level? Collesano said there was less to spend heading into next year.

"There were some great cuts," the mayor said. "Our superintendent of public works (Bryan Meigs) helped us out a lot. And some of our huge bonds have been paid off. So we're paying less."

According to a copy of the budget, obtained by the Niagara Gazette, debt service payments is indeed this budget's largest savings. The village is expecting to pay $83,500 in principal and interest next year, much lower than the $122,150 it scheduled for the current year. But the savings are almost entirely wiped out by increases in employee benefits, which will rise from $223,500 this year to $261,100 next year.

Lower payments for bonds is a two-fold positive for the village. Not only does the spending decrease allow the village to increase salaries, it also permits the village to consider new work projects which will be bonded in the future.

Collesano said the village has already begun planning future work which will address both sewer and water lines in the village, a constant source of trouble and an area of concern among residents.

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