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Hamburg Town Board members have made some minor changes to the proposed 2013 budget that slightly reduce the tax increase expected in next year’s budget.
The changes, which include eliminating three vacant positions and other smaller adjustments, will bring the tax rate increase to about 3.8 percent, instead of more than 4 percent in the tentative budget submitted by the supervisor. The total tax levy would go up 3.79 percent over this year.
Because of the exemptions allowed under the state tax cap law, the tax levy is $260,000 below the cap on the levy, said Wayne Drescher, the town’s accounting consultant who presented the budget during the budget hearing Monday night.
“They wanted to get well under it, as far under it as they could and still provide a full range of services that you’ve gotten used to,” Drescher said of board members.
Drescher said the tax rate increase comes out to approximately 1 percent per year over the last six years.
Challenges remain in the budget, including declining state aid, which is down 8 percent over the last three years, Drescher said. Interest income is lower, and the payments from the video lottery terminals at the Hamburg Casino have been significantly reduced from $1.2 million in 2008 to $557,000 this year.
The positions to be eliminated are a police clerk, a crossing guard and a part-time clerk typist, Drescher said. However, the second assistant police chief position, which has been vacant for several months, was kept in the budget.

email: bobrien@buffnews.com