The owner of an average $200,000 home in Amherst would pay an additional $32.79 next year in property taxes, going from $1,515 to $1,548, under the proposed 2020 town budget.
The tax levy – the amount collected in taxes – would rise by 2.43%, an increase within the state tax cap. With the assessed value of Amherst property growing modestly, the tax rate would rise by 2.16%. In 2019, in comparison, the town raised the tax levy by 7.32%, well above the cap.
Supervisor Brian Kulpa attributed next year's 1.65% increase in spending partly to filling five jobs – including two school resource officers whose cost is shared with Williamsville schools – and setting aside money to cover the cost of new union contracts. The town also budgeted for an employee retirement incentive, he said.
On the revenue side, sales tax revenue is rising slower than in the past while other revenue such as cable franchise fees are dropping. The Town Board will review and vote on the $136.2 million budget in the coming weeks.