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Town of Niagara property taxes to go down; water, sewer fees go up for some

TOWN OF NIAGARA – Property owners will see a reduction on their 2015 tax bills as a result of the budget recently passed by the Town Board.

Last week, the councilmen unanimously approved the $8.18 million budget for next year, $1.92 million of which must come from taxes.

Deputy Supervisor Sylvia Virtuoso said the tax rates for both homestead and non-homestead property owners will have a decrease of at least 10 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Under the new budget, homeowners will pay $4.35 per $1,000 while non-homestead properties will be charged $8.29 per $1,000, which is about 11 cents less than was charged this year.

No major budget adjustments were made and no significant purchases were included except that the board will continue to set aside money in a capital projects fund for a new roof for the highway department garage, officials noted. The board is saving about $50,000 toward the roof, which has been estimated at about $400,000.

Tax bills are expected to go out in December.

The board also raised the cost of water and sewer usage for next year while changing some of the payment categories.

Water and sewer customers who use up to 5,000 gallons will be charged a flat fee of $20. Those who use 6,000 to 8,000 gallons will have a $25 fee. Previously, all those who used up to 10,000 gallons were charged $20.

Virtuoso explained that the board intended to keep the lower rate for elderly and disabled users, many of whom fall in the 5,000-gallon category.

Other users will have rates increased on a per 1,000 gallon charge. Those who use 9,000 to 30,000 gallons will be charged $5.35 per gallon, an increase of 75 cents. Users from 31,000 to 149,000 will be charged $5.75, up 80 cents. Any used over 150,000 would be charged $6.40 a gallon, up 90 cents.

The town will include some cost-saving tips for users on the bills this year, she said. For example, water use can be conserved by not letting water run while brushing teeth and by repairing toilet tanks that continue to run.