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Hanover budget would hike spending 3.8 percent

HANOVER – Spending would go up by 3.8 percent under a $4.3 million budget proposal presented Monday to Town Board members.
More than half of the increase is due to a new cost to the town for workers’ compensation costs.
Town Budget Officer Elmar Kiefer reviewed the different areas of the budget. He said the workers’ compensation costs of $61,000 used to be part of the Chautauqua County tax levy. The town participates with the county in a workers’ compensation insurance program. In past years, the county would add the cost of the town’s share for this insurance on to the county tax bill. This year, the county notified the town that it will collect the fee from the town, and the town would be responsible to raise the funds.
Kiefer said the state’s 2 percent property tax increase cap would have allowed the town to raise only $30,000 more, less than half of what was needed to cover the cost.
Kiefer said several cuts were made in the proposal, but services should not be affected. He said town employees will receive a 2 percent salary increase, which adds about $15,500 to the budget. Other expenses include $26,000 for retirement contributions and an estimated $22,500 in increases for health insurance costs.
Kiefer said the average assessment for a home in Hanover is $88,950, and the total increases in the tax bill for the township should mean an additional cost of about $9 on the bill.
Town taxes will arrive with a county tax bill and special district taxes that may include water, sewer and lighting.
In other matters, the budget includes fire protection contracts for Forestville, Irving and Perrysburg. The contracts have a 1.5 percent increase and were negotiated over three years. Forestville has two districts and will receive $31,660 and $27,430. Irving will receive $52,757 and Perrysburg $2,426.
Fire district taxes are added to property bills for residents who live in their the areas they cover.
The next Town Board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 13. The change is due to the Veterans Day holiday.