Elmira, N.Y. (WENY) - Citizens of the city of Elmira voiced their concerns regarding the proposed 2018 city budget on Tuesday night at a public hearing held by the Elmira City Council. It was the first opportunity for citizens to give the city feedback on the proposed budget.
In the proposed 2018 budget, property owners would see their taxes raised by 17%. City Manager Mike Collins says if there were to be a change in the budget, it would have to be made by the city council. Collins says, "From my perspective right now, I can't go back in and change the budget because it has already been proposed, but certainly if city council members want to come back and propose a new budget that certainly can be presented."
If the budget is not approved by city council, it will still go into effect.
Collins suggests residents who are concerned with the tax increase call to find out how much their home would be assessed at. He says,"I think when people hear 17%, it's not based on what they can sell their home for, it's based on the actual assessed value of the home. So I think I would encourage people to call and find out specifically what would that dollar amount be on an annual basis as far as an increase goes."
Duane Mills, Vice President of the Chemung New York Landlord Association, talked about the repercussions the increase would have on renters in the city. He says, "Well I'm afraid as far as renters go, rents are going to increase and they already have to be high to pay the taxes that are existing."
Mills also believes this will lower the values of homes, and force homeowners who can't afford the increase to leave the city.