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The Clarence Central School Board approved a tax increase Monday that angered residents when it was made public in May.

The increase, part of the 1998-99 school budget approved by voters earlier this summer, represents an average property-tax increase of 4.9 percent for the four towns in the district.

The average tax rate for the four towns is $14.99 per $1,000 assessed valuation, an increase of 78 cents from the previous year's rate, according to Superintendent Thomas G. Coseo.

In comments made during the Monday School Board meeting, Coseo blamed the need for a tax increase on three straight years of lower state aid and the high number of senior citizens who, for the first time, took advantage of tax exemption programs such as STAR.

Tax rates for the individual towns are as follows:

Clarence -- $14.79 per $1,000, an increase of 89 cents from the previous year.

Amherst -- $20.54, an increase of 16 cents.

Lancaster -- $17.22, an increase of 11 cents.

Newstead -- $13.97, a
decrease of $1.06.

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