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Tax comparison may startle homeowners

   It's not a perfect comparison of taxes from town to town -- there is no perfect comparison. But it's as close to an apples-to-apples comparison as we have for now. And it's startling.

   A state survey of taxes paid on a $150,000 market value house in Erie County goes from a low of of $2,212 in the Pioneer Central School District in Sardinia to a high of $6,839 in the Village of Sloan.

   "The actual average taxpayer in this community isn't paying half that," says Sloan School Superintendent James P. Mazgajewski.

   That's right, because in Sloan, property values are low. And the survey does not include special districts in the town taxes, while village taxes include many of those types of services, such as lighting, sewer, water and garbage pickup.

   And since location, location, location is everything, a house in Sloan with a market value of $150,000 probably would have a much higher value in Clarence.

   So look at the numbers, and take them for what they are, not the final word, but one measure, one comparison, of what taxes you might pay if your house has a full market value of $150,000.

   -- Barbara O'Brien

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