Niagara Gazette


April 8, 2014

Lewiston village residents to see a slight bump in taxes

Taxes in the Village of Lewiston are set to increase. But only by a small margin.

Village board members unanimously approved the proposed spending plan calling for $3.3 million in spending for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins June 1.

To help fund the plan, officials adopted a property tax rate of $7.26 per $1,000 assessed value, which turns out to be $0.14 per $1,000 more than the current year.

"We're staying within the state's 2 percent tax increase," Mayor Terry Collesano said. "It's really the state's mandates that are hurting us. While we did that, mandates are costing us 9.1 percent more. We feel the mandates are affecting our community and communities like us. We can't keep up."

Specifically, Collesano said the state retirement contributions paid by the village, as well as worker's compensation insurance, medicare and a few other mandated items expended by the one-square-mile village have added $24,000 more than what is currently being spent this year.

"That's a lot of money for a small community such as ours," he said.

In addition to the increased mandated costs, salaries also went up throughout the workforce. All employees received a 3 percent increase in pay, though he said one person was cut from the staff of the department of public works.

Collesano said all of the other departments provided enough cuts to their budget requests to help the village provide the salary increase, cover the mandated costs and keep the tax increase as adopted.

He added the five members of the village board, including himself, will not receive any additional pay as part of the salary increases.

"That's all we've got," he said. "We can't cut any more. We eliminated one position from the DPW. And everyone else cut substantially for us to get this budget through."

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