A 1.5 percent property tax increase will stand in the City of Syracuse after the Common Council overrode Mayor Stephanie Miner’s budget veto today.
Finance Committee Chairwoman Kathleen Joy says the city can’t continue to cut it’s way out of yearly budget deficits, so lawmakers felt the time was right for this increase.
“Having a modest tax increase, it's about a dollar month, that’s less than a pack of gum a month, and we get to take advantage of the state rebate program," said Joy. "We thought the timing was appropriate to have that moderate increase in taxes, and shift money around a little bit so we have those essential services that citizens expect.”
Joy hopes some of the half a million dollars brought in through this tax increase can be used for infrastructure improvements, among other things.
Miner was critical of the tax increase, saying it was approved without any public input. The votes to override the mayor’s veto on the tax increase and other budget amendments was unanimous.
Joy says she hasn’t heard much criticism from Syracuse resident about the tax increase.
“I got one email that was critical. All of the rest of them and the telephone messages were positive. I think people understand and are willing to step up to the plate."
Joy says the city needs to look at ways to raise revenue to get out of the fiscal holes that have plagued Syracuse's budget in recent years.