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Maryvale School District residents receiving their school tax bills next month will have a welcome surprise: A higher-than-expected increase in Cheektowaga assessments means their tax rate will not increase as much as they had expected.

Stephen Lunden, assistant superintendent for administrative services, estimated town assessments to increase about $3 million this year. Instead, they rose about $5.2 million. As a result, district taxes will be billed at a rate of $30.18 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, instead of the $30.29-to-$30.44 range that Lunden originally estimated.

Following School Board approval of the new tax rate Monday night, Maryvale bills will rise 61 cents per $1,000 over last year.

In other action, the board hired Margaret Aldrich in the new position of assessment and curriculum manager. Hired to help Maryvale handle the new state assessment mandates, Aldrich will be paid about $85,000 a year.