Monday, September 18, 2017 at 2:01 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, government, taxes, Sen. Gallivan, announcements.

Press release

Legislation to provide for the continuation of the real property tax exemption for Cold War Veterans has been signed into law Sept. 12. The bill (S5659A), sponsored by Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma), was approved by the Senate and Assembly in June. 

The law gives local governments and school districts the option to continue to provide a real tax exemption beyond the original 10-year limitation.

“This legislation recognizes the commitment and sacrifice made by the men and women who served in the United States military during the Cold War,” Gallivan said. “By continuing this program, we express our deep appreciation for their brave service to our country.” 

Cold War Veterans served in the Armed Forces from Sept. 2, 1945, to Dec. 26, 1991. Many of them served during times of peace.

The legislation amends the state’s real property tax law.

Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 4:27 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, government, taxes, news.

Press release:

On Monday, the Senate approved legislation to compensate property taxpayers who are owed money by the state after last year’s changes to the School Tax Relief (STAR) program. The bill (S3505) cosponsored by Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan, (R-C-I, Elma), enables taxpayers who have applied for STAR but who do not receive accurate reimbursement payments from the state in a timely fashion to be paid interest for each day their check is late.

“Delays in issuing checks through the STAR program are unacceptable and have left far too many homeowners frustrated,” Gallivan said. “The state and the Department of Taxation and Finance must work to correct these delays as soon as possible and ensure that hardworking taxpayers receive the rebate they are due.” 

Since its enactment, the original STAR program has provided almost $60 billion in property tax relief to eligible senior and non-senior homeowners. This year alone, total STAR benefits to eligible recipients are estimated to be almost $3.4 billion.

Last year’s budget changed the current STAR program by phasing out direct payments to school districts on behalf of eligible homeowners. It converted the exemptions into a refundable property-tax credit for new homeowners. The conversion applied to people who purchased their primary residence after the 2015 STAR application deadline or did not apply for the exemption by the 2015 STAR application deadline.

The credit was paid in the form of checks that were supposed to have arrived in the mail by Sept. 30. However, multiple reports and many constituent complaints indicate that numerous checks arrived late or with the wrong amount of money. The Senate estimates the average basic STAR benefit is $840 per eligible homeowner and the average senior STAR benefit is $1,555. Many property owners need that money to pay their taxes on time.

This legislation would require STAR checks to be postmarked by Sept. 15 to allow taxpayers adequate time to pay their school tax bills, and require added interest for any late payment penalty imposed by a school district plus interest of 3 percent annually for checks postmarked after Sept. 15.

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017 at 4:00 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, announcements, taxes, Sen. Gallivan, government.

Press release:

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) recently joined colleagues in the New York State Senate in passing legislation to make the property tax cap permanent. This would ensure the continuation of a measure that has already saved taxpayers more than $15.5 billion.  

The bill (S1207), sponsored by Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan (R-C-I, East Northport), would make the property tax cap permanent statewide, except in New York City where no cap is currently in place.

“The property tax cap has been very successful in putting an end to skyrocketing taxes in communities across the state,” Gallivan said. “New York property owners pay some of the highest taxes in the country and the only way to limit spending and get property taxes under control is to make the tax cap permanent.”

Growth in property taxes soared by more than 73 percent for New York school districts between 2001 and 2011, and 53 percent in counties. The property tax cap was first enacted in 2011 due to Senate Republican efforts to reduce New Yorkers’ tax burden. When the cap was created, it included a commitment to increase support to school districts and has resulted in a total of $4.9 billion – 26 percent – in school aid increases over the last five years.

The cap limits the annual growth of property taxes levied by local governments and school districts to 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. By keeping within the cap, taxpayers statewide – except in New York City – have saved $15.5 billion over the last five years, and will save more than $66.4 billion cumulatively over the first 10 years of its implementation.

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 2:16 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, government, taxes, budget.

Facing a 10-percent increase in the tax levy for 2016, it was clear that Wyoming County officials needed to take action and reduce expenditures. It was time to ask the community what local services were most important to them – all the county levy and some local revenue are spent on state-mandated services.

Public forums were held in the Spring throughout the county, providing a platform for ideas, questions and answers. According to Wyoming County Board of Supervisors Chairman Doug Berwanger, the meetings were “successful” and the feedback was “phenomenal.”

The proposed 2016 budget appropriations total $123,289,676, which reflect a 1-percent decrease or $1,247,680 less than 2015. In an effort to reduce the tax levy, surplus funds have been applied from the General and the Highway funds for a total of $1.4 million. 

Additionally, due to unusually large potential unpaid tax liabilities identified in 2015, it was deemed prudent for the county to increase the Reserve for Uncollectible taxes by $300,000. That amount was added directly to the total tax levy for 2016; a 0-percent increase for a home with a full value of $92,000 (median sale value 2014).

While the overall tax rate would increase 1.26 percent, Genesee Falls, Pike and Wethersfield will see a decrease. Here's the breakdown: 

    • Genesee Falls -- 2 percent decrease;

    • Pike -- 3 percent decrease;

    • Wethersfield -- 4 percent decrease;

    • Arcade -- 2.13 percent increase;

    • Attica -- no increase;

    • Bennington -- 4.44 percent increase;

    • Castile -- 2.04 percent increase;

    • Covington --  no increase;

    • Eagle -- no increase;

    • Gainesville -- 5.26 percent increase;

    • Java -- 1.18 percent increase;

    • Middlebury -- 3.09 percent increase;

    • Orangeville -- 2.04 percent increase;

    • Perry -- no increase;

    • Sheldon -- 3.49 percent increase;

    • Warsaw -- 2.04 percen increase;

However, the state property tax cap limits the increase in taxes levied by local governments and school districts to 2 percent (or the rate of inflation). It also allows for real property growth in the tax base. The state calculated the cap for the county to allow for an increase of 1.01 percent, due to the low rate of inflation. Therefore, a local law to override the property tax cap must be adopted before the budget can be accepted.

A public hearing to adopt Local Law No. G Year 2015 has been scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Dec. 8 in the Supervisors’ Chambers, 2nd floor of the Wyoming County Government Center, 143 N. Main St., Warsaw.

Other budget details include:

    • The tentative budget does not include salary increases for management and elected personnel. Additionally, in most funds, no salary increases have been budgeted for employees represented by the CSEA (union) bargaining unit, the Sheriff Employees’ Association and the Deputy Sheriff’s Association or the Schedule E CSEA Supervisory unit (WCCH) as negotiations are currently in process.

    • Several staff reductions are reflective including a combination of retirements, elimination of some temporary and seasonal staff, as well as reducing hours of some positions. This resulted in an estimated savings of roughly $240,000 for the General Fund and $200,000 for the Hospital fund. 

    • The tentative budget reflects the cost of computer capital equipment purchased by the Information Technology Department. This allows for a more efficient process by incorporating the most up-to-date changes in technology.

    • Money has been allocated for the purchase of new vehicles by the Sheriff’s Department and the Department of Social Services.

The board also reduced the budgets of its partner agencies by 20 percent, saving roughly $150,000.

The 2016 allocations for these Wyoming County agencies include:

    • Chamber of Commerce and Tourism: $135,984;

    • Business Education Council: $4,300;

    • Business Center: $60,000;

    • Arts Council: $11,432;

    • Wildlife Federation: $904.32; and

    • Soil and Water: $128,130.12.

Other agencies include:

    • Cornell Cooperative Extension: $364,400; and 

    • Wyoming County Fair Association: $18,000.

After property taxes, sales tax is the next largest revenue source in the county’s General Fund. An estimated $16,950,000 will be collected in sales tax revenue in 2016. On average, counties across the state could safely estimate a 3-percent increase in sales tax revenue a year. However, in Wyoming County, actual receipts show this amount has not budged since 2012. 

While one of the main sources of sales tax in the county is from gasoline sales, consumers also need to spend money at local shops and markets. To encourage residents to do their holiday shopping in the county, the Chamber of Commerce initiated an annual holiday season campaign – Shop Local. The success of the campaign is evident in the total sales receipts entered each year.

As of Nov. 15, the total indebtedness for the county is $32,845,000 – $1,964,000 less than the 2015 amount of $34,809,000. A majority of the debt is associated with the renovations to Wyoming County Community Hospital and Nursing Facility; a balance of approximately $195 million remains. The other large investment was made to the county’s road infrastructure – a balance of $8.3 million.

A public hearing of the tentative 2016 budget will be held at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 1 in the Supervisors’ Chambers, 2nd floor of the Wyoming County Government Center, 143 N. Main St., Warsaw.

For the complete tentative budget report visit or pick one up at the Board of Supervisors Office. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 2:07 pm
posted by Howard Owens in Perry, Perry Central School District, taxes.

Two potential school tax abatements that Mayor Rick Hauser believes will help fuel residential growth in the Village of Perry are the subject of public hearings at 7 p.m., Sept. 22, at the Perry Senior High School Library.

The school board will be asked to say yea or nay to the proposals, which won't decrease the amount of taxes collected currently. Rather, they would provide tax relief on increases in assessed value for qualifying first-time home buyers of newly constructed units and for homeowners who make substantial improvements to their existing homes.

Perry Superintendent Daryl McLaughlin said the decision is entirely up to the school board, but the abatements can benefit the school district.

"If we can reverse the trend as far as population decline and promote growth within our village and within our community, it's obviously a good thing," McLaughlin said. "Especially within the school district, we would like to see our numbers go up."

Hauser, who has a community planning background, said these abatements can address some important housing needs in the village.

"There's a lot of anecdotal evidence from realtors that Perry lacks housing inventory in a variety of different sectors," Hauser said. "There's housing for sale, but it tends to be similar price, similar age, similar condition and setting and environment. We're missing a lot of other segments that, as a result, people can't find what they're looking for if they're willing to choose Perry."

Throughout WNY, population decline is a problem and Hauser said the village trustees are implementing methods to hopefully reverse the trend in their own corner of the state. They call these their "restore population initiatives."

"Perry has lost 7 percent of its population in each of the last decennial censuses," Hauser said. "Taken together, that's 542 fewer people living in the village."

Those 542 people, Hauser said, could fill an auditorium. They are community volunteers, potential business owners, firefighters, parents to children in the local schools and consumers and taxpayers. A small village losing 542 people has a big impact.

There are a lot of good reasons people leave WNY, Hauser said, but to balance the scales, there needs to be some reasons for them to move to Perry. Improved housing stock and financial incentives can be tools to encourage growth, he said.

A survey of Perry's largest employers found that two-thirds of local workers don't live in Perry. In some cases, that may be because the workers can't find the right house for themselves and their families in the village.

"We're losing a lot of potential residents to other communities," Hauser said. "Not everybody is looking to buy a fixer-upper or to buy a grand old house."

The proposed abatements -- which the village board has already approved for its taxing jurisdiction -- would cap property taxes at the level they were at when construction was started, either on a new home or on big improvements to an existing home. After a period of years, the abatements would expire and the property owners would pay the full amount of taxes on the full assessed value of the property.

"The abatements don't reduce the tax base now, but it raises it later," Hauser said.

Monday, September 8, 2014 at 10:16 am
posted by Howard Owens in taxes, tax liens, Wyoming County.

The following properties are subject to tax lien auction by Wyoming County. The auction is at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, at the North Java Fire Hall, Route 98, North Java. Color pictures and tax maps can be viewed at A PDF list of properties and auction rules can be downloaded by clicking here.

  • 191 Park St., Village of Arcade, assessed value $200
  • 598 Exchange St., Village of Attica, assessed value $38,500
  • West Mill Street, Village of Castile, assessed value $19,900
  • 30 Hurd St., Village of Castile, assessed value $67,000
  • Spring Street, Village of Castile, assessed value $1,000
  • 224 S. Main St., Village of Perry, assessed value $21,200
  • 226 1/2 S. Main St., Village of Perry, assessed value $127,300
  • Wing Street, Town of Eagle, assessed value $24,000
  • Exchange Street, Town of Eagle, assessed value $5,400
  • 3391 Main St., Town of Eagle, assessed value $55,500
  • Shearing Road, Town of Gainesville, assessed value $28,600
  • 4015 Dutton Road, Town of Gainesville, assessed value $36,600
  • 6671 Halvorsen Road, Town of Genesee Falls, assessed value $92,500
  • Nichols Road, Town of Java, assessed value, $19,300
  • Perry Road, Town of Java, assessed value $500
  • Block F, Town of Java, assessed value $200
  • Gulf Road, Town of Middlebury, assessed value $2,000
  • 140 Main Street South, Village of Perry, assessed value $3,200
  • 121 Water St., Village of Perry, assessed value $71,800
  • Water Street, Village of Perry, assessed value $800
  • 118 S. Main St., Village of Perry, assessed value $50,500
  • 20 N. Center St., Village of Perry, assessed value $47,800
  • 66 Water St., Village of Perry, assessed value $40,600
  • 89 N. Center St., Village of Perry, assessed value $88,800
  • 6785 State Route 20A, Town of Perry, assessed value $37,800
  • 3243 Beardsley Road, Town of Perry, assessed value of $47,500
  • 27 Main St., Town of Pike, assessed value $36,000
  • Main Street, Town of Pike, assessed value $9,400
  • Route 78, Town of Sheldon, assessed value $1,800
  • 20 Culver Ave., Village of Warsaw, assessed value $85,600
  • Buck Road, Town of Warsaw, assessed value $3,400
  • 24 Weber Road, Town of Wethersfield, assessed value $27,700
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