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COUNTY STANCE CRUCIAL IN TAX PAYMENT PLAN

Chautauqua County holds the key to a proposal to have city and county property taxes paid in installments.

Under the current system, the county tax is paid in February and the city tax is paid in May. The Common Council has introduced a law to permit one-half of the total of the two taxes paid in February and the other half in May.

The plan would give the city cash during the beginning of the year, which is the beginning of its fiscal year. The city has had a cash flow problem in the past and wants to avoid more borrowing, Mayor Margaret Wuerstle said.

However, the county must agree to the plan. One sticking point is whether the county would want interest on the amount of its taxes that would be paid in May. City officials are waiting for a written statement from the county.

"The Common Council has not decided yet. We are reluctant to act until the question is answered," said Councilman-at-Large, Frank Gawronski.

The county tax is greater than the city tax. The February payment would be greater than at present, but the May payment would be less.

The Council has the option of taking the local law off the table at Tuesday night's meeting and acting on it. If no action is taken, the law dies.

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