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Spending would increase by 2.5 percent in the Town of Tonawanda under a tentative budget plan for 2013 that was unveiled Monday by Supervisor Anthony F. Caruana.
Budget appropriations total $96 million, which is $2.3 million more than the current $93.7 million budget.
The property tax levy is $44.57 million, which is down 6.4 percent from the $47.6 million that was raised in property taxes this year.
"The 2013 tax levy amount is skewed because of the property tax settlement with NRG Huntley," Caruana said in his budget statement.
"Beginning in 2013, NRG Huntley will be paying a payment in lieu of tax rather than real property taxes," he added.
Under a state law enacted in 2011, the town cannot exceed a tax levy of 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower.
"I am pleased to report that we have complied with the New York State property tax cap mandate for 2013, as we did last year with the 2012 budget," Caruana said.
For the average homeowner in the town with a house assessed at $50,000, annual taxes would rise $20.45 to $1,213.48, from $1,193.03 paid this year, or an increase of 1.7 percent.
At the town's current equalization rate of 47 percent, a home assessed at $50,000 in the town generally has a market value of about $106,000.
Based on a townwide assessed valuation of $1.3 billion for homestead properties, the estimated 2013 tax rate for homeowners in the town would be $6.09 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The non-homestead tax rate, based on a townwide assessed valuation of $438.9 million in non-homestead properties, would be $13.80 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
Caruana said the proposed increase in operating expenses is due primarily to increased costs for town employees' hospital and medical insurance, which will increase by $1 million. Also contributing to rising costs are wage increases and fringe benefits related to retirement and workers' compensation, as well as an increase of $492,000 in debt payments related to the Park/Fries Sewer Interceptor project.
Two budget workshops have been scheduled for later this month, which will allow the Town Board to review the plan and, possibly, make further refinements to the proposal.

email: hmcneil@buffnews.com