ITHACA, NY – On Wednesday, Ithaca’s Common Council voted unanimously to adopt the 2017 budget, which brings the largest tax rate cut in several years.

The budget passed without any real controversy or comment from the public or the council members. The council members having spent several meeting discussing the budget during October.

The total budget amount is $70,068,495, with $47,871,834 million in available and estimated revenues, leaving $22,196,661 to be raised in taxes. This results in a tax rate of $12.04 per $1,000 of taxable property valuation, a decrease of $0.85 per $1,000 of property value over last year.

Once the budget was official, Mayor Svante Myrick took a moment to explain the impact that it would have for city taxpayers.

“This is a tax rate reduction of 6.6 percent. It’s pretty remarkable, for the rate down that low brings us to a rate we have not seen since 2003,” Myrick said.

He added, however, that some people’s property value assessments have gone up since then, so in some cases people will be paying the same amount or more in real dollars. What the lower tax rate means is that people are getting a better deal in terms of their tax burden versus the value of their home.

“I think it’s a good deal, it’s something the council should congratulate itself on. This is the result not just of economic trends but of smart decisions both on the expense side, to reduce our costs and streamlining our services wherever possible, and it’s the result of some smart planning and economic development decisions we’ve made, to focus growth in the core of the city,” Myrick said.

You can learn more about the city’s 2017 budget here or check our previous coverage for a rundown of some key points.

Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.