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No proposed tax increase for Minoa in 2014-15

Residents will pay $8.95 per $1,000 of assessed value

— The Minoa Village Board held a public hearing before its regular meeting on April 7 for residents to ask questions about the 2014-15 tentative budget, which calls for no tax increase for residents.

Residents will have the same tax rate they’ve had for years – the $3.4 million tentative spending plan projects an unchanged rate of $8.95 per $1,000 of assessed home value. Even though village will most likely be able to keep its property tax levy below 2 percent in the 2014-15 budget, the board decided to vote to override Gov. Cuomo’s tax cap at the meeting. Minoa Mayor Dick Donovan said the board chose to override it as a precautionary measure.

“I encouraged the board to do it for the protection of our taxpayers,” Donovan said. “We are close to that limit and if somebody [who works for] the state of New York thinks we made a mistake, they can penalize the village, which penalizes our taxpayers. We are not going over the tax cap, but we are looking to override it.”

There are not many big changes in this year’s tentative budget. The village board members did not get a salary increase, but all of the village’s regular employees got a 2 percent raise this year, including the village justice, court clerk, village clerk, crossing guard and others.

The Minoa Volunteer Fire Department received a 30 percent increase in funds in the tentative budget. In addition to a floor covering replacement, a new vehicle for the chief, an increase in insurance and fire training, Fire Chief Erich Schepp said some of the allocated funds will go towards new fire rescue equipment, the majority of which is mandated by New York state.

“Unfortunately, we actually control maybe 10 to 15 percent of our budget,” Donovan said. “Almost everything [our department heads] have to deal with is mandated. Whether you want it or not or if you have stuff that works, we still have to replace it.”

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