October 6, 2006

News Brief: Mayor Proposes 2007 Budget at Nearly $52 Million

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Ithaca Mayor Carolyn K. Peterson proposed a budget for 2007 of nearly $52 million. The new budget includes a 2.26 percent tax rate increase and 6.1 percent tax levy increase, the lowest levy increase since 2002, according to City Controller Steve Thayer.

Sales tax revenue is projected at $500,000 above the revenue in the 2006 budget, Thayer said. However, revenues from tickets and fines have decreased.
One priority, improving the city’s sidewalks, is especially important since many Ithacans walk to work. The mayor is advocating increased assistance for snow and ice removal. The mayor said that improving sidewalks is also part of sustainability efforts.

The city is in its second contract year for purchasing wind power, has purchased its first hybrid vehicle and is now looking to purchase an electric vehicle, Peterson said.

The average price of a house in Ithaca is $145,000, according to Thayer. With the new tax rate, this homeowner would pay $1,966 in city tax, $43 more than the 2006 tax.

Discussing the state of Ithaca, Peterson said, “There’s a lot of work to do in the city … I certainly think we’re going in the right direction.”