East Syracuse For the first time in 36 years, residents of the village of East Syracuse will have to venture elsewhere for their July fireworks, as the celebration was nixed from the budget is an effort to lower the tax rate. Taxpayers will be reaching even further into their pockets as this year’s tax rate is $16.41 per $1,000 of assessed home value, meaning that a house assessed at $100,000 calls for an extra $291 this year.
The announcement of a 22 percent tax increase did not go over favorably among residents present at the village’s second public hearing for the budget on April 29. The vote to keep the East Syracuse Police Department, which was cast by residents last October, was a catalyst for flared tempers at the meeting. If voters had made the decision to eliminate the department, it could have saved the village over $1.2 million and alleviated the tax problem. East Syracuse resident Larry Mosley said that he thinks the answer to the village’s problems is the consolidation of departments with the town of DeWitt.
“People can’t afford to live here,” Mosley said. “The police department referendum needs to be brought back up and voted on again. We’re taxed higher than any other municipality in Onondaga County and it’s time something gets done.”
Mayor Robert Tackman knows that there’s no simple solution to the problem- especially within 30 days, which is the amount of time he’s had to put the budget together since taking office. But he said that even though the 2013-14 budget has passed, the work doesn’t stop for the village board.
“I’m not happy with this budget,” Tackman said. “$16.41 is not a number I feel comfortable charging my residents. The board’s big focus for next year is identifying the services we have that we don’t need or what services we can operate differently that will help save tax dollars next year. We’re not signed and done, this is an ongoing process.”