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They will be paying them now instead of later in Cheektowaga, as Town Board members Monday decided not to defer the costs of the retirement system.

Payments into the state retirement system are up $1.8 million, and the proposed budget was going to defer $800,000 of that to future years.

"The retirement cost is not an avoidable cost," said Brian M. Krause, director of administration and finance. "Either you pay it now or you pay it in the future with an additional interest cost."

The board adopted a 2005 budget Monday night that includes all of the retirement costs. As a result, the budget grew by almost $800,000, and taxes will be about 2 percent higher than anticipated in the proposed budget. Board members did not comment on the budget.

Council Member Thomas M. Johnson Jr. said after the meeting that the retirement payment is a recurring cost and if it wasn't put in the budget, the following year's budget could carry a larger increase.

The 2005 budget, including special districts, totals $71 million, a 6 percent increase over this year's budget. The total tax levy is $51.98 million, up 11 percent.

Residents living in the town outside the villages of Depew, Sloan and Williamsville will see their ad valorem tax rate increase 9.5 percent to $19.07 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The ad valorem budget includes the general and highway funds, consolidated garbage and general lighting districts.

Sloan and Williamsville taxpayers will see a 9 percent increase to $13.45 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, while Depew residents will have a 10 percent increase to $12.07 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

The budget includes previously discussed changes, such as the addition of a full-time housing inspector and increasing a plumbing inspector position from part-time to full-time.

The revenue side was increased by $132,000 because of a higher payment in lieu of taxes.

Elected officials will receive pay increases of 2.75 percent, the same as contractual employees. It's the first increase for the supervisor in two years and the first for Council members in 10 years.


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