Orchard Park Town Board looks to lower proposed 12 percent tax increase

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB)–Orchard Park residents will see a tax increase in next year’s budget. Exactly how much, though, is still unclear.

In the tentative 2020 budget, there would be a 12 percent tax increase, but according to Town Supervisor Patrick Keem, that’s only if each of the town’s departments got exactly what they want.

“[Board members] get a wish list from all the department managers,” Keem explained. “We some things away right away, like ‘no you’re definitely not going to get that.’ But anything they want we put in the budget, in the tentative budget, and it happened to come out to almost 12 percent tax increase.”

According to Keem, the majority of the increased spending in that budget comes from the new community center set to open early next year. He said the town has to set aside $900,000 for the center in the 2020 budget, sending them over the tax cap.

Orchard Park residents we spoke with off-camera tell News 4 while they’re happy to have a space for everyone in the town to use, it’s unfortunate it has led to such an increase in taxes.

But Keem said the board has spent the past month making cuts in the proposed budget, and that members are continuing to lower it even more.

Board members will be holding two separate forums the week of Oct 28:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the municipal building basement meeting room
  • Saturday, Nov. 2 at 9:30 a.m. in the municipal building first-floor boardroom

The budget must be adopted by Nov. 20 before it then goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020.

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