The Amherst Town Board on Monday approved a 2019 town budget that raises taxes beyond the state tax cap without making any changes to Supervisor Brian J. Kulpa's original proposal.
Next year's budget raises the tax levy – the amount the town collects in taxes – by 7.32 percent. However, the tax rate rises by an average 1.73 percent next year. The owners of a home assessed at $200,000 will see property taxes go up, by $25, to $1,822.
Overall spending rises from $127.25 million in 2018 to $137 million next year. Kulpa blamed the increase on growth in employee wages and health insurance, debt payments and the need to rebuild the town's fund balance. The board voted 4-1 to exceed the tax cap and approve the budget, with board member Deborah Bruch Bucki casting the only no vote.
Bucki conceded in an interview that it was a difficult budget year. But, she said, "I do think we need to lead by example and we do need to do more with less."