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>Increase in budget to raise tax rate 6%

The Blasdell Village Board has revised the proposed budget, and instead of a 3 percent tax increase, the proposed hike will be 6 percent.

The board decided it needs additional funds to complete improvements to Orchard and Pearl avenues and to open the new community center in the former library building, according to Janet Plarr, village administrator.

Prior to a public hearing Wednesday that drew no comments, the board voted to increase spending by about $50,000, to $2.25 million. The new proposed tax rate is $14.34 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, up from the current rate of $13.53.

The board is scheduled to meet at 6:45 p.m. April 3 to adopt the budget for the fiscal year beginning June 1.

Most of the increase is due to contractual obligations, including a 3.5 percent pay increase for full-time employees and increases in the cost of health insurance and pensions.

The biggest financial problem for the village, however, is the decrease in its assessed value, Plarr said. The value of all property in the village has dropped by $645,000 in the past year. The loss in tax revenue is more than $100,000, she said.

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