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Newstead Supervisor Donald C. Holmes' tentative 1998 budget calls for a slight increase in the general fund of five-hundredths of a cent per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

Holmes Tuesday said the $2,280,513 proposal, including general and highway funds, fire protection and special districts is a decrease of .7 percent over the current $2,296,655 budget.

The plan would carry a town tax rate for residents outside the Village of Akron of $2.73 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. In the village, the tax rate would be $1.64.

Refuse service for those outside the village would increase by $8 a year, he added.

This year, he noted, new construction increased the town's tax base by about $6.5 million. "At our current tax rate of $1.59 per $1,000, that produces about $10,000 in new revenue," he said.

Holmes said the town will need more money to help fund the Recreation Department, pay for increasing utility costs, office space, and assist the Historical Society. Employees and mangement also would like a modest raise, he said.

"The town has reached a point where if we want to spend more, we have two choices: increase taxes or spend our own cash reserve to pay for day to day operating expenses," he said.

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