MYRICK '09

MYRICK '09

November 6, 2016

Ithaca Common Council Approves Property Tax Decrease

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Next year, Ithacans will see their property tax rates reach a 14-year low thanks to Mayor Svante Myrick’s ’09 budget, which the Ithaca Common Council approved last Wednesday.

Despite the tax decrease, the city will actually yield more tax revenue — $22,195,764, as opposed to last year’s, $21,765,380 — due to its rising property rates.

“We are seeing the benefits of increased development in the City of Ithaca,” Myrick said at the Oct. 3 Common Council meeting.

Another point of pride for the mayor is that under his budget, over half of one- and two-family households will pay less in Ithaca property taxes in 2017 than they did in 2016. The median change in city taxes for such homes is a decrease of $2.85, or 0.2 percent.

A federal grant to fund four new firefighter positions for two years — a gift that amounts to $640,015 — also played a small part in allowing the mayor to decrease property taxes.

Property taxes provide the city’s largest source of income, followed by sales taxes. The mayor said he anticipates sales tax revenue to increase next year but noted that the volatility of the economy inhibits accurate forecasting of this number.

“The economy remains unsettled and continues to have an uncertain impact on the 2016 and 2017 sales tax activity,” he said in the budget proposal.

Myrick’s budget specifically sets aside $1,000,000 for various street reconstruction projects and new public jobs, including a planner position in the city’s zoning department.

  • Tim Terpening

    I have four houses in the City of Ithaca. Fourteen apartments. I paid a total of $49,966,23 in County, City, and School taxes in 2016 for these four houses. In the last three years my property taxes have gone up over $8,000 due to aggressive reassessments, which continue year to year. For the Mayor to come out and announce to the community that he has lowered taxes by $2.85 is an insult. Actually, that’s not strong enough. The campaign to reassess property targets rental properties. So the Mayor’s claims of lowering taxes is an especially egregious insult to every renter in the City of Ithaca, especially college students who are burdened already with excessively high rents. And high taxes is only one issue that is detrimental to the cost of housing. Please keep in mind that the regulations affecting rental housing are having an impact on the cost of housing and the quality of it. I recently tried to create one affordable studio apartment in the City of Ithaca and I was shocked at the unbelievable code requirements which involved two hour fire separations and sprinklers. I might as well go out and just buy a fire truck and rent the place to a firefighter.

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