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Orchard Park town taxes will drop 3.1 percent next year despite a projected 3 percent rise in spending, Supervisor Dennis Mill said Friday.

The 12 percent of Orchard Park residents who live in the village will see their town tax rate hold steady at $4.56 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for the town's general fund and at 1 cent per $1,000 for the highway fund.

The Town Board reviewed the proposed general fund budget of $7.5 million and proposed $1.96 million highway budget this week and will hold a public hearing Oct. 15, Mill said, adding that he felt the town's record of "fiscal and tax-rate stability" was noteworthy.

Orchard Park property rates outside the village will be $1.97 for highway taxes (up one penny since 1992) and $2.75 per $1,000 for the general fund, down 9 cents from last year and a drop of 28 cents overall since 1992, the year the town initiated a tax stabilization fund.

The town also has been blessed with booming residential and commercial development, Mill said, topping $1 billion in assessed valuation in 1995-96.

"We have $1.133 billion assessed valuation, but a lot of that does not show up on tax rolls yet since it is commercial or industrial development," Mill said.

"We added the Mentholatum plant to our assessment rolls, but it has tax abatements, so we won't see a penny from it for several years."

Mill said the tax stabilization fund, established in 1992, was a major reason taxes have been steady since then.

Besides contractual pay raises for town employees, next year's proposed budget includes money for road reconstruction and design, a town-wide bridge inventory and water supply study, a variety of drainage projects, swings and slides for two town parks, aerial mapping of the township and acquiring a site for a composting operation.

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