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Court Lowers Propety Tax Increase

Attorney Paul Cambria in court on behalf of Erie County Legislature
WBFO News
Attorney Paul Cambria in court on behalf of Erie County Legislature

By Eileen Buckley

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-814791.mp3

Buffalo, NY – The battle over who sets the Erie County property tax levy was settled in court Monday. A ruling will mean a lower tax rate.

A State Supreme Court justice has reduced the County Executive's tax increase for 2009. The Legislature filed a lawsuit against County Executive Chris Collins claiming that he did not have the final authority to set the tax rate.

Attorney Paul Cambria argued on behalf of the Legislature. He told the judge the County Executive could not ignore the budget veto overrides conducted by lawmakers. Cambria says the judge's decision reduces the County Executive's tax increase to one-point-six percent.

The new tax levy will raise the average property tax bill by $9 for those with a home worth $100,000.

County Executive Collins is also pleased with the court's decision. He says the judge ruled that the county executive has the ultimate authority to set the tax levy.

Collins has ordered that the tax bills be reprinted. But he says they will meet the February 1st delivery deadline.

Click the audio player above to hear Eileen Buckley's story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.