WESTERN NEW YORK — At least six towns and cities are considering property tax increases as their 2018 budget discussions get underway this fall, according to budget documents and published reports.
The city of Niagara Falls has received the most publicity. Last week, Mayor Paul Dyster unveiled a plan that would hike property taxes by 2.6 percent for residential property owners — about $32 per year for the average homeowner — in response to the budget gap created by the ongoing casino revenue dispute.
Other municipalities must manage similar financial stress. The Town of West Seneca is considering a property tax increase of about 12 percent, which would calculate to an extra $135 dollars a year on a home assessed at $60,000. Councilman Eugene Hart said rising costs, particularly for health care, has left the town needing to raise more revenue.
Budget documents show at least a half-dozen communities are considering property tax increases. All would need approval by boards/councils: pic.twitter.com/zw8LNvLQTY— Danny Spewak (@DannySpewakWGRZ) October 5, 2017
Hart said he'll meet with the Financial Department next week and work through the budget line-by-line, but it appears the only alternative to higher property taxes would be cutting services.
"Mainly, the cost of providing services has increased dramatically," Hart said.
The following municipalities have also put forth the following plans:
—The Town of Amherst's supervisor is proposing a slight increase in the tax levy.
—The City of Tonawanda, according to the Buffalo News, is considering a rate hike of nearly five percent.
—The Town of Tonawanda is also looking at a slight increase, according to the Ken-Ton Bee.
—The Town of Cheektowaga's supervisor wants a slight raise of about $30 for the average homeowner.
All budgets would need to be approved by their respective town councils or boards.