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E. AURORA SCHOOL BOARD SETS '98-99 TAX RATES

The East Aurora Union Free School District adopted its tax rates for the 1998-99 school year last week for the three towns comprising the district. In the Town of Aurora the rate is $25.81 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Business administrator Steven Perry said that it includes all homes in Aurora except for a small portion of homes that are either in the Iroquois Central or Springville-Griffith districts.

In Colden, the rate is $22.66, while in Elma, the only other town in the district, the rate is $239.68. Elma is the last remaining town in the county to still use the old fractionalized assessment system.

Superintendent Howard S. Smith said the district received some "unanticipated" state aid that lowered the original amount to be raised through local property taxes to $11,151,755, a reduction of $104,000. Smith said the tax rate was lowered to a 3.78 percent increase, while the tax levy increase was 4.01 percent as a result of the additional state aid.

Smith said that in 1998, 101 more properties in the district applied for some form of tax exemption than did in 1997, most of them taking advantage of the STAR program for senior citizens. That brought total district property assessment exemptions to $1,624,185 on 357 parcels of land, Smith said. He added that the state will reimburse the district $631,898 in incremental aid because of STAR.

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