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Tax rates will decrease in Murray

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 9 November 2016 at 10:15 am

MURRAY –Town Board members on Tuesday evening unanimously adopted the 2017 budget that reduces the tax rate.

The rates are down both town-wide and for the town outside the village. The town-wide rate is $3.06 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, down from $3.12 in 2016. In the town outside the village, the tax rate falls to $1.77/$1,000 assessed valuation from $1.80.

Appropriations in the 2017 budget total $2.3 million with $1.42 million to be raised through property taxes. That’s actually up from $1.41 million in 2016, but the tax rate decreases because assessments are up over $3 million, Supervisor John Morriss reported.

Morris thanked members of the citizen advisory committee who participated in the budget creation process.

“A lot of effort goes into it,” said resident Krista Wiley, a member of the advisory committee. “It’s a tough job.”

Wiley said most residents don’t have a sense of what it entails, going through each line item in detail.

“We had the same conversations as we do about our homes and businesses,” Wiley said.

No one spoke during a public hearing on the budget which was held before the vote.

“Lower tax rates should make the community feel happy,” town assessor Lynn Wood said.

He explained that the increase in assessments are the result of home sales. “The sales uptick the last year-and-a-half helps spur that,” he said, as well as construction of new homes.

Sandra Shaw, director of the Holley Community Free Library, addressed the board during the public comment portion of the meeting.  She reported to board members regarding how the library has decided to spend $20,000 in bullet aid obtained by State Senator Rob Ortt.

Shaw noted that patrons are requesting more programming and the library has decided to hire a part-time children’s librarian with $14,250 of the aid to be spent for that position and the remainder will be spent on items such as books, DVDs, and children’s, young adult and adult programs.

“We will expand the children’s program with a Duplo wall. At Easter we will have a Lego tutorial,” Shaw said.

She explained the tutorial will teach children how to construct a vehicle with Legos. Adult programming is also planned on a regular basis with a wide range of topics including weaving, tole painting and specifying your final wishes to your family.

Shaw said the funding will help the library to reach out to the town to provide programming.

“We want people to know we are here and to come join us and have fun at the library,” Shaw said.

She noted she has reached out to the University of Buffalo regarding the possibility of taking on a student who has almost finished their studies, and who would come to Holley for a semester and then be hired part-time.

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