Small Tax Hike Could Be In Store For City Property Owners

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It isn't final, but property owners in the city of Watertown could face a small tax hike.

Watertown city leaders discussed the budget for three hours Tuesday night.
 
Officials say they made good progress, but still need more answers before approving the 2013-2014 proposed budget.
 
The biggest question is: if the property tax levy increases 2 percent -- which the budget calls for -- what will it mean for property owners in Watertown?
 
After crunching the numbers, city manager Sharon Addison says the change would be minor, at most.
 
"It's not a huge change, but it's a necessary change," she said, "necessary so that we can keep up with costs of inflation as well as the rising pension costs, etcetera."
 
Under the plan right now, taxes on a house valued at $100,000 would go up to $729.90.
 
That's an increase of $8.80 from last year.
 
The hike is one of the things the city's $41 million spending plan calls for.
 
The proposal also includes no layoffs, but Mayor Jeff Graham says there are some other challenges the city could face.
 
"Everything from re-looking at our refuse service to things like property maintenance and other issues like that," he said.
 
"There were some issues that got identified." 
 
Although there aren't any surprises in the proposed budget, city council members say they still needs more specifics.
 
Depending on when they get the information they need, the budget could be approved as early as May 20.
Sunday, September 21, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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