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School tax bills would drop slightly in the East Aurora School District under the district's $23.9 million budget proposal for 2005-06, which increases spending by 1.48 percent.

Depending on the assessed value of their homes, district residents would see their estimated net tax bills drop by $10 or $22 in some cases -- under the budget plan adopted unanimously Thursday by the School Board.

The budget -- which goes before voters May 17 -- contains a slight spending increase and reflects a 1 percent drop in the tax levy to $14.95 million.

State aid to the district is expected to increase 9.7 percent to $5.9 million. The district also is applying $800,000 from the appropriated fund balance to the budget, the same amount used in the current year.

The administration initially proposed a $24.24 million budget calling for a 2.93 percent spending increase. It was further whittled to $23.8 million before ending up at $23.9 million after the board included funding for a late bus and an additional $56,000 for supplies, materials and equipment.

The estimated $32.31 tax rate for Aurora is up by 1.88 percent. However, dropping equalization rates in the town will lead to lower school tax bills for the most part. For instance, a home assessed at $70,000 would see its net school tax bill go up by $1.

But the more expensive the home, the more its school tax bill will drop. A home assessed at $100,000, could see a $10 drop in its school taxes, while a home assessed at $130,000 would see a $22 decrease from the current year. Those estimates factor in school taxes at the estimated new rate, along with STAR subsidies.

A public hearing on the budget will be held during the board's meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Main Street School library.

In the May 17 budget vote, residents also will elect three School Board members from a field of four candidates. Seeking re-election are board President Daniel Brunson and Stephen Zagrobelny. Other candidates are Michael McLaren and James Whitcomb. Three-term board member Judith Coder is not seeking re-election.


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