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Board approves budget with 1.96% property tax rate

The Village of Lancaster this week approved a 2012-13 budget that raises the property tax rate by 1.96 percent.

The $7.2 million budget, which increases spending by 1.5 percent from the 2011-12 budget, was approved Monday night by the Village Board.

No one spoke at the public hearing that preceded the 4-0 budget vote, for which Trustee Kenneth L. O'Brien III was absent.

The budget adopted Monday was $8,250 lower than the tentative budget unveiled several weeks ago by Lancaster Mayor William G. Cansdale Jr., thanks to money saved on utility costs.

That tentative budget came with an increase in the property tax rate of 2.15 percent over the 2011-12 rate of $9.55 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Instead, the tax rate will rise 1.96 percent, to $9.73 per $1,000 of assessed value.

The owner of a home assessed at $150,000 will pay $1,459.50 in village property taxes next year, an increase of $27 over the 2011-12 tax bill.

The tax levy, the total amount the village expects to raise in property taxes, will rise 2.44 percent, to $4.5 million, from 2011-12 to 2012-13.

Spending goes up by $107,349 from the current year's budget, driven primarily by a recent sewer improvement project and rising costs for employee salaries and benefits.

Village officials offset some of those costs by reining in spending on debt service and travel.

The village's union employees will receive a contracted 3 percent pay increase, and non-union workers will receive a matching raise.

Each village trustee receives a $900 raise, to $9,900 for the year, while Village Justice Paul T. Bumbalo receives a raise from $17,700 to $19,000.

Cansdale's salary will remain $12,900, and he will continue to receive $5,900 for serving as budget director.