VESTAL, N.Y. (WIVT/WBGH) – Vestal Supervisor John Schaffer is declaring victory with the smallest tax rate in 14 years, while his 2 opponents say it’s all an election year gimmick.

The Town Board voted Wednesday to accept a preliminary budget for next year that lowers the property tax rate by more than 13 percent.
The tax rate for the general and highway funds is going from $4.16 to $3.60 per thousand of assessed value.
The rate for the fire district is also going down.
The budget appropriates 750 thousand dollars from its reserves.
Schaffer says the board took a critical look at its spending plan while maintaining quality services.

Supervisor John Schaffer says, “Top police force in the area, our roads are top, parks are top. Vestal is one of the safest places to live. Got a great university here, a great high school, we’ve got it all. People who are moving to the area are moving to Vestal.”

Democratic candidate Maria Sexton says Vestal is still spending more, about 1 point 7 million more, and is increasing its tax levy, the total amount of taxes raised, by nearly 200 thousand.
She says the reason the rate is going down is due to hikes in assessments.
Republican candidate Ted Wolf says it’s more baloney from the Supervisor just days before the election.
Schaffer says residents will see he’s right when they open their tax bills later this year.