November 11, 2003

County taxes

County taxes seem to be the main local story in the Ithaca Journal today, with stories on a County Legislature public hearing on the budget, notes on other counties' tax plans, and a report blaming the state for high local taxes.

The proposed Tompkins County budget includes a 19.65% property tax rate increase. The Journal looks at where the budget money comes from overall:

"The $117 million total budget includes a $60.9 million local share, and a 27 percent tax levy increase. Taxable property assessed at $100,000 would pay about $772 in county taxes in 2004 if the budget is approved."

Tompkins County is hardly alone in this, however. Tioga County faces a 19.8% rate increase, Chenango County 22%, while Broome County faces 6.4% plus

"lawmakers have said the county will likely be forced to issue a budget note -- a special tax on the tax bill. Money to pay for the note comes out of taxpayers' pockets. Broome lawmakers haven't said what the note could cost."

I don't know what to make of that.

Meanwhile, the Citizens Budget Commission blames the state for New Yorkers' local tax woes. No doubt some of that is true, and Tompkins County is participating in some multi-county projects trying to get Albany to address that, but the Journal doesn't note that the CBC is "a nonpartisan group backed primarily by businesses that seeks ways to control government costs and taxes," as does the New York Times story about the same report. Non-partisan doesn't have to mean there isn't an agenda.

I'm planning to collect more information on local tax rates over time, and post them here, as unvarnished as possible. Not that I lack an agenda, of course!

Also in tax news, Newfield and Caroline face property tax increases this year.

Posted by simon at November 11, 2003 8:34 AM in ,
Note on photos