continued In addition to the homeowners and renters, business owners were also present to speak out against the tax raise. Business owners pay about 60 percent of the village’s taxes, but because of voter registration laws, most can’t vote in any village elections, including the police referendum vote last fall.
“To me, this is taxation without representation and it isn’t fair,” said Cunningham.
But East Syracuse Village Clerk Pat Derby said the laws do not exclude business owners – they just give them a choice.
“What makes you qualified to vote is your registration,” said Derby. “You typically register where you live because that’s where your interest is. But should business owners not want to vote where they live, they could register to vote at their business address.”
Aside from the uproar over taxes, residents were sad more than anything else. Their tax bill brought many of them to the realization that if things don’t change, their village could one day be just a memory.
“We may just be absorbed into the Town of DeWitt,” said Lisa Somers, a resident and homeowner. “All of our village employees will lose their jobs, the people I call friends, that I wave to on the street. Many of these people have worked here for years and are raising their families in the village. And what will become of our park and pool? Will DeWitt be able to maintain them or will they just shut them down?”
Tackman announced that the East Syracuse Chamber of Commerce was able to raise the funds to hold the village’s annual fireworks show, which will be held on July 13 at East Syracuse Elementary School.
“Residents and non-residents have stepped up to help and it’s incredible,” he said.
The chamber raised over $12,000, which will pay for the fireworks show and expenses that go along with it. There were two substantial donations- East Syracuse Chevy donated $5,000 and former mayor Danny Liedka was able to secure $7,500 for the village.
“This $7,500 is a one-time band-aid,” Liedka wrote in a letter to the village. “I hope the community will rally next year to ensure this event happens.”
The next East Syracuse board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on July 1.