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North Tonawanda Public Library officials explained Monday night that state law now requires that the library budget must be voted on separately instead of being divided equally between the city and school district.

Paul Sikora, president of the Library Board of Trustees, and Daniel Killian, library director, explained the proposed 1998-99 library budget at a public information meeting at the library.

The total library budget is $1,091,785 which includes income from all sources.

The property tax portion is $874,185. That's $21,759 more than last year's property tax, according to Sikora.

State law now requires voter approval for any increase above the amount approved in the previous year.

Although the library budget appears as a separate line on the school budget, "It is important that North Tonawanda residents understand that this not a new tax," Sikora said in a communication to voters.

"They're voting on the increase in library taxes required for the next fiscal year.

The proposed 1998-99 library budget increase is 2.55 percent over last year.

Depending on the state-established tax equalization rate, Killian said the library tax rate could increase 1.5 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, compared with 3 cents per $1,000 last year.

The library budget vote will be held at the library, 505 Meadow Drive, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday April 22.

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