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Amherst approves 2019 budget that raises tax rate by 1.73 percent

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."

Amherst supervisor's 2019 budget plan exceeds tax cap

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