ADVERTISEMENT

The average property tax bill in Cheektowaga would drop under the tentative 2014 budget presented by Town Supervisor Mary F. Holtz.

But before you get too excited, consider this: For the average home assessed at $61,000, the total savings would be just 85 cents. The annual tax bill would be $1,654.78, down from $1,655.63.

Holtz released the approximately $86.75 million budget proposal last week. The Town Board on Monday scheduled a public hearing on the budget for 5:30 p.m. Oct. 29; the deadline for adoption is Nov. 20.

“We have been able to come in with a slight decrease in taxes this year,” Holtz said Monday. Councilman Stanley J. Kaznowski III noted there was no increase in spending.

Total appropriations came in the same as the current budget. And at roughly $64.02 million, the tax levy is down by $236,853, or 0.37 percent.

Reductions, through attrition, would be made to the town workforce.

“I have made the hard decision – but one which is right for our taxpayers – to eliminate seven positions,” Holtz said in her budget message.

The Central Garage, Highway and Sanitation departments would be reduced by one position each, and the Facilities and Sewer departments would be reduced by two each.

The supervisor said town finances are continuing to benefit from new contracts settled with unionized workers during the past couple of years.

As a result, all employees contribute toward their health insurance premiums, benefits were reduced for future employees, and legacy health insurance was eliminated for all newly hired employees and newly elected officials.

In other business Monday, the Town Board approved resolutions to seek bids for wheeled recycling totes and a new contract for collecting recyclables.

The town is looking to provide residents with 35-, 65- or 95-gallon recycling totes.

And in seeking a new, five-year contract for the collection and disposal of recyclables – effective April 1, 2014 – town officials are looking for quotes for bi-weekly collection, which they estimate could save the town $500,000 a year.

Both bids are due Oct. 23.

email: jhabuda@buffnews.com