March 20, 2005

County income tax possibilities

I mentioned an earlier Ithaca Journal article on the possibility of a county income tax to replace all or part of property taxes, but it seems like a non-starter for a lot of reasons, including the need to pass any such changes through the New York State Legislature and Governor.

While I don't think the income tax itself is going anywhere, the interim report from the Local Income Tax Study group (clearer 490KB PDF or selectable 1179KB PDF) has an incredible amount of information in it on distribution of income and property in the county.

For example, I knew that NYSEG was one of the largest property tax payers in the county, but I didn't know that their remaining holdings total $116,961,684, even minus the former Milliken Station properties they sold AES Energy, which are assessed at $142 million. Pyramid Mall is assessed at about $59 million, while Cornell University, which is tax-exempt, is assessed at about $53 million. There's also all kinds of information on property tax exemptions, broken down by town, and data on New York State tax returns for 2000, when residents claimed $1.9 billion of income and non-residents who work here claimed $476 million.

It's well worth a careful read, even if you have no interest in a local income tax. Thanks to Mike Lane for giving me a copy. (I don't tend to follow county politics closely, and haven't yet started asking them for their documents.)

Posted by simon at March 20, 2005 3:08 PM in ,
Note on photos