Lysander tax rate decreases

Despite highway fund increases and Budweiser legal fees, the tax rate for Lysander residents has decreased for the 2009 budget year partially due to an increase in the town's assessable value, which increased 3.3 percent to $1.393 billion.

Town residents will pay $1.70 per $1,000 compared with $1.72 per $1,000 last year and village residents will pay 71 cents per $1,000 compared with last year's 77 cents per $1,000.

"I think the budget we have is good," said Counselor Brian May.

Overall, the total budget increased by 3.8 percent over last year to $4,981,654.

Major contributing factors to the budget include $186,000 for the construction of the North Shore Trail, a 2.8 mile pedestrian/bike trail along the Seneca River (project is also funded by a $428,000 grant); $300,000 set aside for potential legal fees regarding the assessment issue with Anheuser-Busch; and $715,000 for highway department projects and needs. Rising fuel and salt costs have had a significant impact on the highway fund with fuel appropriations increasing 43 percent to $102,000 and road salt increasing 8 percent to $157,000. The highway department also has $23,000 in the budget to purchase a new pick up truck.

The budget also includes a 3 percent wage increase for town employees and a 14 percent increase in health premiums.

The total tax levy (amount to be raised by taxes) is $2,150,294 with $989,476 to be raised for the general fund, $65,444 for the part town fund and $1,095,374 for the highway fund.

Lysander board members approved the budget after a public hearing held last Thursday.

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