Thursday, April 24, 2014

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Salamanca School District to apply for federal grant

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Buffalo: Salamanca School District to apply for federal grant
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The Salamanca School District is looking for a financial shot in the arm from the Federal Government. YNN's Mark Goshgarian tells us how the Tax Impact Aid program could help the district, and area homeowners as well.

SALAMANCA, N.Y. — "We're very angry," said Michele Crowley.

Michele Crowely of Killbuck in Great Valley is retired. She says not only are her school taxes too high, but her assessment just went up as well.

"If it keeps going up, there's nothing, you can't sell your house, and then the taxes are so high, being retired and everything that's happened to retirees, we won't be able to afford anything," said Crowley.

Concerned citizens in Great Valley recently alerted the Salamanca School District to the federal Tax Impact Aid Program. It's available for schools with non-taxable federal land, like the Allegany Territory, within the district.

"We believe that we will be eligible, we believe we will receive an award. We believe it will be a significant benefit to the district financially for a long time coming, if we're eligible," said Robert Breidenstein, Salamanca Superintendent.

Officials are now collecting data verification sheets from each student, as it prepares its grant application.

"The more students that we can claim, the propensity seems to be the higher the potential award might be," said Breidenstein.

Should the school district be awarded the grant funding, the money wont be available until the 2015-16 budget cycle.

"So we don't want to go ahead and budget and plan for it until we actually have the money," said Karen Magara, Business Executive.

Magara says the funding would be applied to the tax base.

"So the local community won't be paying as much in taxes, so they'll have more money in their pocket to spend at local grocery stores, gas stations, casinos and things like that," said Magara.

Leaving Crowley encouraged about the grant.

"Because everything's going up, Medicare's going up, everything's going up so hopefully this will help us a lot, " said Crowley.

The application is due at the end of the month.

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