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BOARD BOOSTS TAXES TO COMPENSATE FOR OVERESTIMATING REVENUE

The Starpoint School Board raised taxes this week after discovering that the board members overestimated how much revenue the schools would be receiving from the five towns that encompass the district.

At a Tuesday meeting , board members voted to make taxes an average of 5 percent higher in the towns, said Trustee William Patterson.

In May, the School Board adopted a 1998-99 budget totaling $21.99 million, with a tax levy of $9.2 million. The average taxpayer would have paid an estimated $15.89 per $1,000 of assessed evaluation, a 2.56 percent increase.

However, with this week's action, taxpayers will see an average increase of 5 percent. Patterson said the district's revenues from taxpayers were over reported by about $200,000.

Peter T. Kachris, superintendent of the Orleans-Niagara Board of Cooperative Educational Services, is serving as the district's interim superintendent. He could not be reached to comment. However, Patterson said that Kachris recommended that the School Board raise the rates this year or face a 6 to 8 percent increase for the 1999-2000 year. "So essentially we would wipe out the loss we had from property tax assessments being low," said Patterson.

With the increased tax rates, the average homeowner will end up paying $40 more than they originally thought they would be paying for the 1998-1999 year.

"I know we're going to catch blazes from some people. Nobody wants to raise taxes but it's a pay me now, pay me later kind of situation," said Patterson.

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