Niagara Gazette — A budget approved by the Wheatfield town board this week calls for a tax levy reduction.
Following a public hearing on Wednesday, town board members approved a 2013 spending plan that calls for a little more than $12 million in expenditures, an increase of about $173,000 from the current year.
Overall, Supervisor Robert Cliffe said the budget will result in a reduction in the tax levy - the total amount to be raised by taxes - of 7.4 percent. For the owner of a home assessed at $125,000, the change would result in a tax decrease of $41.58.
The budget anticipates an increase in sales tax revenue of $4.3 million, a reduction in court fees of $45,000 and a $14,000 reduction in anticipated building permit fees. Cliffe said changes in the town's recycling program will produce a $200,000 reduction in the cost of refuse as well next year.
On the expenditure side, Cliffe said the town is anticipating increased costs for health insurance and the New York State retirement system. Library expenses are expected to increase $22,000 and the board approved an additional part-time clerk's position and agreed to return a highway department position that was cut in 2010.
Cliffe said he was pleased that the board approved his request to add a second deputy sheriff, which he said will patrol exclusively in Wheatfield on evenings and weekends.
"Public safety is our most critical function," he said. "This extra patrol will help make Wheatfield a safer place for residents to raise their families."