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I think it is very important that an error made in a News article about the Town of Tonawanda's tax base be corrected. Contrary to a recent story, the tax base in the Town of Tonawanda is not declining. In fact it has increased.

The confusion began when a story was written this past June about a new state law that changed the way local assessors could assess natural gas lines. This law impacted municipalities across the state and resulted in the loss of about $3 million from our assessed valuation. The original article misstated this amount and claimed the loss to be "$300 million." I called The News and asked for a correction, which unfortunately was never made.

It's interesting to note that since the Junearticle, Gov. Pataki has vetoed this legislation, so the $3 million loss never occurred. In addition, our residential tax base has increased for the past two years, mainly because of the large number of homeowners improving and making additions to their homes.

The 1998 town budget has no increase in the tax levy, the amount of money to be raised by taxes. This tight budgeting, when combined with the increase in our tax base, means that the average homeowner in our town will actually see a 1 percent reduction in their 1998 town tax bill.

Carl J. Calabrese Supervisor
Town of Tonawanda

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