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TOWN TAX RATES REMAIN STABLE IN NEW BUDGET

Property tax rates in Ellicottville will decrease by a fraction of a penny per $1,000 of assessed value as the result of the 2005 budget adopted this week by the Town Board.

Projected in the plan is a $546,622 tax levy to support total appropriations of $2,497,488. The board also agreed to use $552,000 from unexpended funds to supplement revenues.

Homeowners can expect to see their homes assessed at $2.647 per $1,000 of value, nearly the same as the $2.651 levied in 2004. The general and highway funds' portion of that rate will have no change, at $1.69 per $1,000, and the Ellicottville Fire District's share will decrease by less than 4 cents, at $.783 per $1,000.

The town's share of funding for the county Board of Elections will rise from the 2004 fee of $37,070 to $43,940 in 2005, a rate hike of a little more than 2 cents per $1,000.

Also on the rise are employee benefits, with medical insurance and retirement responsible for an increase of more than $30,000.

Both the unexpended fund balance and taxes will support the water and sewer districts. The Water District is expected to raise $177,498 in water fee revenues, and $110,000 will come from the unexpended fund balance, leaving $63,569 from the tax levy.

The Sewer District's $35,000 budget will receive $4,450 in sewer fee revenues and $2,000 from the unexpended balance, with the bulk of the sewer costs -- $28,550 -- supplied by the tax levy.

Elected officials will be paid the following in 2005: town supervisor, $25,000; deputy supervisor, $5,185; three council members, $3,530 each; two court justices, $8,814 each; highway superintendent, $45,358; town clerk, $21,954.

There were no comments from the public during a hearing on the budget earlier this week.

Also during the meeting, John Widger submitted a letter of resignation, effective Nov. 25, ending a 15-year career as supervisor. The board last week selected Norm Stocker to serve for the coming year. He will run for election in November 2005.

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