FORESTVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Village of Forestville is raising taxes by 445 percent, and one of the main reasons is the village was in default on two loans.
The main part of the village budget is holding steady at about $105,000. Urgently needed repairs to a roof on the fire hall will cost another $46,000.
But Tuesday night Forestville Mayor Kevin Johnson announced the village was in default on two loans totaling $400,000 – one for building demolition and the other on a water line bond – and taxpayers have to come up with the cash this budget year.
“As best as we can tell the Village of Forestville borrowed this money with the expectation that Chautauqua County would reimburse the amount added to the property owners’ taxes as they had done in the past. And we would be able to pay the bank back in a year or two,” Johnson said.
But now, the newly elected mayor says Forestville will have to raise taxes to raise $250,000, and the the increase will make village taxes the highest in New York State. Residents are extremely unhappy about the increase.
Lori Strong said, “Okay, so we’re all going to scrimp and save, we’re going to forget about Christmas, kids’ school clothes, textbooks, all that stuff, going to college, groceries, diapers, okay?”
Wayne Feinen said, “When your money doesn’t show up what are you going to do? Answer: bankruptcy. You guys blew it! Two-hundred fifty thousand dollars to take down a building? The hell’s wrong with you people?”
Village officials say because of the outstanding debts, the emergency repairs to the fire hall roof, which would normally be paid for by a loan, must also be added to the budget.