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CITY BUDGET PROPOSAL CARRIES NO TAX HIKE FOR THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR

City taxpayers will have no property tax increase for the third year in a row according to a new city budget awaiting approval by the City Council.

Following a final review, the Council decided to keep the tax rate at $42.74 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for the third year in a row. It was made possible by using $269,149 from a surplus account. The Council used $200,000 last year from surplus funds.

New to the budget is an appropriation of $21,100 to operate the Wildwood Cemetery, which the city took over last year. Money will be for equipment, materials and wages.

Included is $3,800 for a land-lease payment to the Seneca Nation of Indians. Most of the city lies on the tribe's Allegany Reservation.

Residents have received their land-lease bills for this year, which are up 2 percent from last year. Payments are due Feb. 15.

The city's fiscal year begins April 1 and the Council is expected to adopt a tentative budget of $3,556,834 when it meets at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9.

Revenue is estimated at $2.3 million, with a projected tax levy of $952,462, compared to $940,250 last year.

The budget allows for bonding to purchase a new dump truck for the Public Works Department, adding to the city's current debt balance of $236,059.

A public hearing for comments on the spending plan will be held at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 23, when a vote will be taken to adopt the new budget.

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