Probably a high percentage of you did not really pay any attention to my Real Property Tax bill when it came other than looking at the bottom line. For the most part that is all we care about. During the last two months, I have had the opportunity to talk with many town residents regarding that very issue.
Tax and what the town's responsibility is.
I found it interesting reading, first the headline caption at the top of the tax bill, "county" and "town" real property taxes. The very first line on the tax bill is state mandated costs. That cost is Medicaid. Right there in front of your eyes is the largest portion of your tax bill. Then you have town government services, highway tax. Continuing down you have costs from the Onondaga County sanitary sewer, county water, mud creek drainage (County), fire protection, special lighting district, Onondaga public library and Cicero trash (includes trash and brush pickup).
I would suspect many of you actually thought that all that money went to the Town. Now you see that is not the case. Town government line is the only one that actually contributes to the town operations on a daily basis. Highway is the portion paid to maintain our roads which includes plowing. The rest of our bill is costs for trash and brush pickup, the fire protection for your specific area.
The maintenance of our sewers comes from Onondaga County. That service is from the road to residents clean out pipe, after that it is the homeowner's responsibility. The lighting districts, sewer districts, water districts are your portion of maintenance if there are problems that require repair. Having a water main break or sewer break are very costly. This can be looked at as a savings account for that purpose. Fire protection is broke up into five districts: Cicero, Brewerton, Bridgeport, North Syracuse, and South Bay. Each Fire Department submits an operating budget each year. In the Brewerton area there is a tax line item for Brewerton Ambulance Service. Again, an operating budget is submitted to the town for this service, specific to that area.