City Budget Information
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2013 City of Ithaca Budget Outlook
Like most communities in New York State, the City of Ithaca is facing a stark financial climate in the upcoming years. With the adoption of a 2% property tax cap (or the rate of inflation, whichever is less) across the State, the City worked hard to find the balance between maintaining the vital services that our residents need and our residents' ability to pay for them through increased taxes and fees. The City of Ithaca is unique in the fact that 60.46% of the property is tax exempt with Cornell University comprising 83.3% of that amount. This places the majority of the tax burden on a small percentage of tax payers.
New York State grants exceptions in the property tax cap for limited growth in pension costs, quantity growth change in assessments, payment in lieu of taxes adjustments, and business improvement district adjustments. With these allowable exceptions, the City of Ithaca's 2014 adjusted property tax cap is 2.12%. The Mayor's 2014 Recommended Program Budget that was presented to Common Council has a tax levy increase of 2.08%, representing the lowest tax levy increase since 2000. The adopted tax rate increase is .30% making the dollar increase from the 2013 tax rate $.04 (from $13.08 per $1,000 assessed value to $13.12).
Continued difficult budget choices are being made in the 2014 Mayor's Recommended Budget. The budget proposal includes four position layoffs and removal of funds for some vacant positions. The budget does include some new position funding including a new Deputy Police Chief for Professional Standards and the continued work of improving City operations through departmental consolidation. The goal is to maintain the greatest amount of services to the community at the lowest possible cost to the taxpayer.
The Common Council will now review the Mayor's Recommended Budget over the next month and a half with meetings scheduled on October 15, 22, 29, 30, and November 12 (if needed). All budget meetings start at 6:00 p.m. in Common Council Chambers, 3rd Floor, City Hall, 108 E. Green Street, Ithaca, NY. Check the community calendar on the homepage for the topics of each meeting. A public hearing on the Mayor's Recommended Budget is scheduled for October 30, 2013 and the final Common Council vote on the budget will take place at either the November 6, 2013 Common Council meeting or the scheduled (if needed) November 12, 2013 budget meeting.
2014 Proposed Budget:
2013 Final Budget:
2012 Final Budget: