GATES, N.Y. (WROC) — Residents within the Gates Fire District should be on the lookout for a corrected tax bill in the mail, by early next week.
This comes after an erroneous levy amount was recently sent to households in all of Gates, and some parts of Chili.
The bill undershot the amount needed; a dollar too low, per-thousand.
On Friday, News 8 sat down with the Chili Town Supervisor and Gates Fire District chairman to learn more.
Chili Town Supervisor David Dunning said about 1,100 households in Chili are part of the Gates Fire District district. No particular reason for that; at least no explanation he can recall in his time as an official.
“These fire districts were established a long, long, long time ago, I’m guessing early in the 1900s,” he said.
He said it’s not clear how the mistake happened.
But moving forward, it’s advised you keep an eye in the mail.
If you already paid the first one — you just have to pay the difference.
“You also have to know there’s quite a few residents in escrow, so they might not even know this took place,” said Dunning. “Those corrected bills will go to the banks’ escrow companies, whoever is holding that escrow. We’re trying to now make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
News 8 reached out to Gates Town Supervisor Cosmo Giunta for comment on Friday, but did not hear back.
Billing mistake or not — officials say taxes are going up in the Gates Fire District over time. About 10.5% percent in the past year, said Daniel Cox, chairman of the district.
He said it’s possible the recent mistake drew a lot of eyes to the department’s operation and budget needs.
“The biggest line in our adopted budget, is the line-item for manpower,” said Cox. “For people, for our hired firefighters, we have to have.”
But for residents in other parts of Chili, Dunning said to expect an extremely different tax rate, because you’re covered by a volunteer company.
At the end of the day, Cox said it’s important residents understand — just that.
“There’s a page out there, a 2022 summary, it talks about over 5,500 incidents we’ve been to, 78% percent of the time we’re two minutes on location.”
Cox said there’s roughly 85% percent of their budget going towards staffing — with all the benefits, gear and training that comes with it.
He’s asking any residents who are interested, or frustrated, to come to their public organizational meetings.
If you have any questions about the corrected bill, you can also call the Gates Fire District themselves, or Gates Tax Receiver’s Office.