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Voters pass budgets in nearly all districts in Erie, Niagara counties

Most budgets in Erie and Niagara counties passed Tuesday, with the exception of Eden Central, which was seeking to go over the tax cap.

But the Eden budget did not gain even 50 percent approval, let alone the 60 percent needed for passage under the tax cap legislation. The budget was defeated, 57-43 percent.

Before the vote, Superintendent Sandra Anzalone said the key was turnout, as the more people who turn out, the higher the success rate has been.

But not Tuesday. This year, 905 voted on the budget, while last year 503 voted. The proposition to buy buses passed 52 to 48 percent.

"If people vote, then we have community voice,” Anzalone said. “Either way, we just need to hear their voice.”

The increase in the tax levy – the amount to be raised through property taxes – allowed under the cap for Eden was 0.46 percent, and the district proposed increasing the levy by 2 percent. Spending would have gone up 3.7 percent.

The board has a meeting scheduled Wednesday, and will discuss whether to put the budget, or a different budget, up for a revote in June, or to adopt a contingency budget.

Lake Shore, the other district looking to surpass the tax cap, has no difficult decisions like that to make, since the budget was approved, 64-36 percent. Lake Shore’s tax cap was a negative 1.4 percent. The district proposed a 1.5 percent increase in the tax levy.

Last year, 99 percent of school budgets in New York passed.

In other districts:

  • West Seneca incumbent Mary Busse was re-elected. Lawrence Seibert will join her on the board.
  • Lancaster incumbent Brenda Christopher and Starpoint incumbent Mark Ewart Sr. lost their bids for re-election.
  • Williamsville School Board winners include the teachers union-backed slate, incumbents Shawn Lemay and Mark Mecca and newcomer Eric Borenstein. Incumbent Toni Vazquez lost her seat after she was denied the union's endorsement.
  • Tonawanda voters approved selling the former Clint Small Stadium property, 313 Main St., for $300,000.
  • Lake Shore Central's budget passed. The budget went over the tax cap and required 60 percent of the vote to pass.
  • Budgets passed in Barker, Newfane, Royalton Hartland, Starpoint, Tonawanda and Wilson.
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