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Rising property values drop Williamsville tax rate

Rising property values and return of commercial properties to tax rolls will drop the property tax rate for  Williamsville by 4.8 percent, Mayor Brian J. Kulpa says.

Trustees proposed a $3.67 million budget for the new fiscal year that would reduce the general fund tax rate to $4.19, a drop of 21 cents per $1,000 from last year.

"We are glad to see our property values increase," he said. "We're able to utilize some of that increase to offset the majority of our taxes. We're happy for the third year in a row to be returning a tax rate decrease."

The addition of several commercial properties back to the tax rolls also helped drive the rate down for residential property owners, he added. They include the former St. Francis of Williamsville nursing home on Reist Street, the Williamsville Water Mill on East Spring Street and the residential and retail space at Main Street and Hirschfield Drive, across from Williamsville South High School.

"They have allowed us to grow our tax levy and our services while decreasing our tax rate, which will be affecting the majority of our residents," Kulpa said.

The total amount of revenues that would be raised by the tax levy is $1,744,322, up 3.72 percent from $1,681,788.

In the mayor’s budget statement, he said the 2 percent property tax cap imposed by the state afforded the village an increase of only 1.15 percent over last year’s tax levy.

"In addition, we have a rollover balance of $12,167 from prior years, when the full allowable levy increase was not utilized," Kulpa wrote. "The Village of Williamsville will not be overriding the property tax cap in the 2017-18 fiscal year."

Kulpa noted that the reassessment this year of properties in the Town of Amherst will not affect this village budget.

Sewer rates are also changing. The capital rate, based on assessed value, will decrease 18.9 percent from $1.05 to $0.85 per $1,000. The operation and maintenance rate, based on water consumption, will increase 22.35 percent from $4.34 to $5.31 per $1,000.

"This is primarily due to the amount of sewage being treated at the wastewater plant in the Town of Amherst," Kulpa said. "How a property owner's rate changes overall will depend on their assessed value and how much water is used. Some may see an increase while others may see a decrease."

The village recently completed an inflow and infiltration study and will be working toward a possible sewer consolidation with the Town of Amherst, Kulpa said.

"It shouldn't come as a surprise to people we have sewer issues," he said. "I've been talking about that for a couple of months."

A public hearing on the budget proposal was held Monday. The Village Board may consider adopting a budget next month.

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