Although Oswego's residents are facing a nearly 82 percent increase in their property taxes, the city's lawmakers say there isn't much fat left to cut from the proposed budget. They say the changing economic atmosphere in the city is weighing heavily on this year's budget.
The scrimping, saving and belt-tightening is paying off, as residents of Oswego County will only see a small increase of less than one percent in their property taxes for 2014. But what do the county's cost-saving measures mean for the average Oswego County homeowner?
The proposed tax rate would go up 16 cents for every $1,000 of assessed property value, translating to about an extra $15 tacked onto a homeowner's bill. While the rate is the highest it's been in six years, it still keeps the rate lower than it was in 2005, by more than 20 percent.
More than a quarter of all property in New York state is off the tax rolls, according to figures compiled by the state comptroller, who said it's a burden on local finances.
The 27 percent of un-taxed land in the state adds up to $680 billion in property value not being collected on, which is mostly concentrated in urban areas. The city with the most property off-limits is Rensselaer, with 65 percent.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo seems to be setting the stage for a tax cut next year. Recently, he’s appointed a new commission to look at cutting property and other taxes, and has said the state may have a budget surplus to pay for them.
The governor announced a new tax policy commission headed by former Gov. George Pataki, a Republican, and former state Comptroller Carl McCall, a Democrat. Both are past political rivals of Cuomo.
Cuomo charged the new panel with finding a way to cut taxes.
Farmer John Peck has a moment with a two-month-old calf in his dairy barn.
Agriculture is one of the most dynamic and innovative economic sectors in New York state. All this week, the Innovation Trail team is reporting on some of the current challenges and opportunities facing upstate farmers.
One of those challenges is property taxes. Agriculture is a land-intensive industry, so rising property taxes can mean much higher costs for farmers. And taxes have been rising, thanks mostly to increases in the production value of farmland.
For the second time in less than two years, back taxes have been paid on the Hotel Syracuse, effectively scuttling plans for the city of Syracuse to take control of the property, and sell it to a developer. So, city officials are now looking at a "Plan B."
The City of Rochester has been given state approval to establish one of the state’s ten Land Banks. The city’s Land Bank will support the acquisition of vacant, tax-delinquent properties which will then be renovated and sold through the HOME Rochester program. The aim is to also get more properties back on the tax rolls.
Newly formed "land banks" in upstate New York are moving forward, despite uncertainties on just how they'll work - or be funded. The quasi-public entity in Syracuse recently presented a plan to the city to begin foreclosing on its approximately 3,900 vacant and tax delinquent properties, but there are still unanswered questions.
Those for it say it has little resemblance to Destiny USA other than the length of the tax break. But those in opposition disagree strongly.
Months of debate about Syracuse's development strategy and negotiations culminated Monday with the city granting just its second-ever 30-year property tax exemption.
The recipient is a developer who will build a mixed-use off-campus bookstore and fitness center for Syracuse University. The property in question is a long sliver of land currently owned by the nonprofit university, so it's not taxable.
Syracuse appears ready to give out its second 30-year tax exemption after months of debate. The decision comes at a time when many in the city are skeptical of public backing for development.
The Common Council has called a special session for later today to vote on the property tax exemption for a developer planning to build a Syracuse University bookstore and fitness center in the University Hill neighborhood.