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Angola budget reins in spending, but taxes are rising at faster rate

Spending in the Village of Angola may be projected to increase less than 1 percent for 2007-08, but taxes will be going up at a much quicker rate.

According to Angola's tentative budget going into Thursday night's budget hearing, tax rates were projected to rise from the current $12.65 per $1,000 assessed valuation to $13.52.

That's an increase of 6.9 percent. The owner of a home with a real value of $100,000 will see a village tax increase from $895 to $957 -- based on a 70.81 equalization rate.

"The biggest problem is our assessments are down," Mayor Howard "Hub" Frawley said. "We got annihilated on that, on some of our seniors exemptions, veterans, firemen. And one of our businesses got a big reduction in its assessment.

Assessor Jeanne Ebersole said officials discovered in the past year that some veterans and seniors exemptions had not been applied to the tax roll.

In addition, the village and Evans National Bank settled a long-running tax assessment case, with the bank's assessment being lowered by $199,000.

The result added up to a decrease. The village's tax base is approximately $710,000 less than it was for the current year's budget.

In a village with a tax base of a little more than $50 million, that's a substantial amount.

"All of those things were significant when you look at the amounts," Ebersole said. "But when you look at a village that size, it's really unfortunate all of those things happened at the same time."

Trustee William Houston said the village had been successful in blunting the impact of the lost tax base by holding spending steady.

"If you check the figures, the budget is almost exactly the same," he said. "It's only up $12,000. We're holding the line. In today's world, whoever comes up with a budget that's only up $12,000?"

Since January, Angola has had a spending freeze, except for repairs and urgent needs, Houston said.

He said the village also was fortunate that state retirement costs had stabilized. The village's retirement costs were projected to be reduced on some lines in the budget.

"The state's doing better on investing its money," Houston said.

Some changes were still expected to be made to the budget, said Clerk/Treasurer Linda Giancarlo. The budget is expected to be passed at Monday night's Village Board meeting.

e-mail: eploetz@buffnews.com

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