The City of Ithaca’s 2017 budget could improve street paving, increase fire department staffing, and still lower tax bills for over half of Ithaca’s homeowners. Mayor Svante Myrick will present it to Common Council on Tuesday evening.
Mayor Myrick says his budget for next year includes a 6.6% decrease in the property tax rate, so even “homes that saw huge jumps in their assessments will see only modest tax increases.” Homeowners with smaller increases in their assessments, and everyone else, should “pay less next year in taxes.”
How? “For the last five years we’ve pursued three principles,” the Mayor said in a statement today. “Seek federal and state funds aggressively, control costs by operating more efficiently, expand the tax base through smart growth in the core of the City.” The value of land in the City increased by about 10% last year, he says, partly from assessment increases on existing property, “but most is in the growth from new apartments in Collegetown and Downtown.”
Mayor Myrick says the budget increases Ithaca Fire Department staffing by five people and increase the City of Ithaca’s investment in street paving. That’s all while the “tax rate will be the lowest since 2003, essentially rolling tax bills back by 13 years,” he says.
Common Council will begin working on the final budget starting with an October 13 meeting, though the Mayor says each of the last four years, Council has “passed a generally similar spending plan” to what he proposed, despite making a few changes. Details will be on the City’s budget website.