People living in Amherst continue to speak out about tax levy hike

AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — It was a full house at the Amherst Town Hall as many residents came out to speak their minds about the recent 11.4 percent tax levy hike.

In November, the town board approved overriding the tax levy cap in a special session. That meeting did not have public comment, which upset residents who spoke Monday night. They felt their voices weren’t heard and that the budget process was done without their input.

On Monday, the board proposed a resolution to codify its budget process so it is done the same way every year. That resolution will be up for a public hearing early next year.

“The people of Amherst have always demanded transparency,” said Amherst resident Andrea Morgante. “It does not need a petition from you for us to now be awarded our rights.”

“We cannot raise peoples’ taxes [that much] in this type of economic environment,” Amherst resident Bill Blake said. 

Amherst Supervisor Brian Kulpa has defended the tax hike, saying that the money generated will be put toward building a better Amherst.

“It’s not the thousands of dollars that people made it out to be on social media. There’s an increase here. Are we pricing people out by adding a couple hundred bucks? No,” Supervisor Brian Kulpa has previously said.

As for the tax rate itself, that cannot change because the state’s budget deadline was last month.

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Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native and Emmy-nominated reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.

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