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ORLEANS ADOPTS $29.5 MILLION COUNTY BUDGET; SPENDING PLAN IMPOSES HIRING FREEZE,CALLS FOR 2% ACROSS-THE-BOARD CUTS

The Orleans County Legislature Wednesday unanimously approved a $29.5 million 1991 budget that calls for a 6.2 percent increase in property taxes.

The budget requires an increase in the average tax rate of 49 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation to $8.70.

The actual rate paid by residents will vary slightly from town to town because of differences in state equalization rates, County Treasurer and Budget Officer Mary Basinait said.

"It will be tough to live within this budget," Legislator Marcia Tuohey of Albion said, "but we must learn to say no."

The budget that was approved Wednesday in a roll-call vote was amended from the original proposal legislators had wrangled over in an attempt to minimize the property tax increase while paying off $4.5 million in debt and offsetting $500,000 lost when the state removed 17 inmates housed in county facilities, and an anticipated $500,000 decrease in state aid.

The spending plan was amended to put a freeze on hiring and cut spending by 2 percent across the board.

It also puts a cap on sales tax revenues the county's school districts will receive.

Legislator Ted Swierczynski said the share of the sales tax the district's will receive in 1991 will be limited to the 1990 total, effectively bringing the county an additional $65,000 in revenue.

The final budget also includes a $75,000 reduction in general fund appropriations to the preschool handicapped children's program.

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