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 60.82% of the property is tax exempt with Cornell University comprising 83.1% of that amount. This places the majority of the tax burden on a small percentage of tax payers.
In recognition of the tough budget decisions that lay ahead, Mayor Myrick and the City Controller refinanced debt and capital lease payments saving taxpayers $719,000 over the next several years, established new fleet management policies, and implemented a retirement incentive program for eligible retirees. The latest revenue generating initiative underway is the sale of land parcels that the City no longer has a need for.
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 2013 adjusted property tax cap is 2.77%. The Mayor's 2013 Recommended Program Budget as amended and adopted by Common Council resulted in a tax levy increase of 2.74%, representing the lowest tax levy increase since 2000. The adopted tax rate increase is 1.16% making the dollar increase from the 2012 tax rate $.15 (from $12.93 per $1,000 assessed value to $13.08).
Mayor Myrick listened extensively to the thoughts and concerns of property owners, renters, city employees, and businesses through meetings, public forums, and one-on-one conversations before developing his recommended budget. A common theme throughout those conversations emerged: "We can't continue to do what we're doing but with 10% less, we need to be thinking strategically." In the 2013 budget, Mayor Myrick proposed ways to restructure city government to improve management and accountability, keep tax increases to a minimum, reduce the city's debt load, maintain a healthy fund balance, and move the city forward in a positive direction.
2013 Final Budget:
2012 Final Budget:
2011 Final Budget: