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The Batavia City Council Monday night amended the proposed city budget, further reducing property taxes. But during the same budget review, council allowed a pay raise for themselves of $1,500 a year.
By adding revenues and decreasing some expenses, next year’s tax decrease is now 16.42. The original tax rate decrease was 14.5-percent.
However, the figure includes the new Pay-as-you-Throw garbage program and its separate user fee.

If your house is assessed at $92,000, you save $7.08 a year in the total of property taxes and garbage fees when compared to what you paid last year in taxes, which included refuse collection.
However, if your house is assessed at $75,000, your combined tax and refuse user fee will be $37.25 more.
The more your house is assessed for, the more you save.
Conversely, the less it is assessed for the more you pay.

The pay raise issue was approved by a vote of 5 to 4. 
Ward Six councilwoman Rosemary Christian was in favor of the raise:
"There's people out there that tell me, 'we don't get enough for this crap that we have to go through,' OK?"
Fourth Ward Councilman Pier Cipollone  said it’s not about the money:
"I don't think we should be looking at this as saying, 'hey, we're doing the job and we need to be paid for it.' We're doing this because we want the city to be a better place, and we're doing it because we think we have some ideas that we can put forward to help that along.I don't think (a pay raise) is the appropriate thing to do."  
Council members Rosemary Christian, Jim Russell, John Canale, Kathy Briggs and Tim Buckley voted in favor of the raise
Correction: Councilwoman Patty Pacino did not support the raise .
The pay for City Councilmen will go from $2,000 a year to $3,500.

Council discussed a $45,000 appropriation for the Vibrant Batavia committee.
The group has pledged to raise $27,000 on its own through sponsorships.
City Manager Jason Molino was asked what taxpayers will get for their investment:
"They (Vibrant Batavia) are really trying to take our National Night Out event and other neighborhood events and take them to the next level. They are talking about marketing the city and promoting the city, those are postive things. They will also work on the city's centennial celebration for 2015."   
A public hearing on the proposed budget will be held next Monday night at City Hall.
A final vote on the budget is slated for February 25th.


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