BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A double digit tax hike is likely coming to homeowners in Amherst, after the town board approved to override the state’s tax levy limit.
Amherst officials say the 11.4 percent tax increase will benefit things like the large LED street light replacement project, and long-term capital improvement projects like the revitalization of the Boulevard Mall.
In Cheektowaga, the board is considering increasing the budget, which would also take more money out of residents pockets. Supervisor Diane Benczkowski says the town is considering increasing the budget and tax levy for the coming year to pay for raises for some elected officials and new sanitation trucks. The town would use the fund balance to pay for the added costs, but still have to increase taxes by 1.7 percent, which the supervisor says she’s trying to avoid.
“If we don’t dip any further into the fund balances, it would be 1.71 percent, which it’s still not a lot. It’s under the two percent tax cap. We have a lot of residents who are seniors and people who are on fixed incomes and it is very, very difficult to make ends meet, so any little bit, even $20 added to their taxes is difficult for them to make up, so I’d like to keep them as flat as possible,” Benczkowski said.
Supervisor Benczkowski says the board is considering these amendments trying to balance the budget to avoid dipping into resident’s pockets. Neighbors in Cheektowaga aren’t looking forward to the tax hike, especially as the price of goods and services is on the rise.
“It could be beneficial in the long run, but when you’re just starting out as a family, it’s more expensive for people like me and my husband,” Amanda Brucz of Depew said.
Because of several amendments and changes to the budget, Cheektowaga town board will vote to adopt it on Monday just in time to meet the state’s deadline of Nov. 20. Meanwhile, there are no amendments proposed right now in Amherst, meaning that it will be formally adopted on Monday.
Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native and Emmy-nominated reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.