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New Elmira City Budget Proposal

Written By: Candice Cole
New Budget

      ELMIRA---(WENY) Elmira city taxes could be going up even higher than originally expected. City leaders made the announcement today, after Interim City Manager Kim Middaugh released a revised budget.
     If this new budget proposal passes, it will raise taxes another 2%. Mayor Sue Skidmore says the change will reduce capital spending, and also affect future borrowing for the city.
       As we reported last month, the original city budget called for an increase in the tax rate of almost 4%.
     However, the newly revised budget increases that to almost 6%. Under the current budget proposal, homeowners would pay $37.50 a year.
     The new budget proposal increases that by $20.00 per $1,000.00 of assessed property value.
     According to Mayor Skidmore, raising taxes is the only way to avoid cutting essential services in the city.
      The mayor says Elmira's not the only municipality having to go this route. She also says the future looks bleak for 2018, with a $2 million hit to the city's share of the county sales tax.
      In the past three years the city has put $1.2 million in surplus money towards the budget, but can no longer afford to do that.
     Mayor Skidmore says, "We can't keep using our surplus. If we don't do something now, which is our decision to take less out of the surplus and increase the taxes, is to avoid a huge double digit increase next year."
     Elmira City Council will hold a public hearing on the revised budget on December 30th, at 7pm at City Hall.