Niagara Gazette

Local News

November 15, 2012

County projecting 3 percent tax increase

Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT — Lawmakers pledged spending cuts will be made in the 2013 tentative Niagara County budget, which was released Thursday.

The general spending plan, rolled out by County Manager Jeffrey Glatz and budget director Daniel Huntington, anticipates a 23-cent or 3 percent increase in the average property tax rate to finance all “vital services.” It also calls for elimination of 35 full-time county jobs, most of which are already vacant.

The proposed $321.9 million spending plan shows a $5.4 million, or 1.7 percent, increase in year-over-year county spending.

Huntington asserted the budget is more accurately termed a $229 million county spending plan, showing a less-than-1 percent increase in county spending, after subtraction of big line items that the county has no control over.

$47.2 million is the county’s mandated contribution to New York state Medicaid, and $45.9 million is the amount of sales tax that it will turn over to local cities and towns. Those sums are merely “in and out” of the budget, Huntington said.

The budget keeps the county within the state-mandated “tax cap,” according to Glatz. Municipalities are encouraged to keep year-over-year increases in the tax levy — the total amount of money raised from property tax — to less than 2 percent, with exceptions for appropriations including judgments, increases in employee pension contributions and big, sudden changes in Payment In Lieu of Taxes income.

The loss of $2 million in PILOT money next year, after modification of a tax-relief agreement for Somerset Power Co., helps drives the county’s “hard” tax cap up to 5.08 percent, Glatz said.

The 2013 tentative tax levy, $74.4 million, is $2.6 million or 3.7 percent more than this year’s levy. The increase exceeds the 2 percent cap that’s been so well publicized by state officials, but it’s under the hard cap, so the county legislature would not have to take special measures in order to enact the budget as proposed.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
Poll

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results