TOWN OF NIAGARA – The Town Board passed a 2014 budget Tuesday that is nearly identical to the one it tabled last month.
Property tax rates in the budget will go down, 3.5 percent for business owners and 5.6 percent for homeowners.
Despite a closed-door session before the meeting called for “personnel matters” that kept the public waiting for nearly two hours, the board unanimously agreed to accept a $7.77 million budget that makes no significant changes to the package presented by Supervisor Steven C. Richards that a majority of the board put off Oct. 29.
Following that meeting last month, the board members met numerous times in November for budget sessions.
The only change to the budget was the addition of two part-time building inspectors at a total cost of $36,350, according to Town Clerk Sylvia Virtuoso. The positions would replace one full-time assistant inspector. The positions are needed to help out with inspections during the construction of the expansion of the Fashion Outlet Mall of Niagara, which was approved last month, according to previous budget discussions.
About $1.85 million needs to be raised by taxes, approximately $78,808 less than this year.
The 2014 rates will be $8.40 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for non-homestead properties and $4.45 for homestead, according to Richards.