Mayor Lewis Presents 2024 City of Ithaca Budget
Mayor Laura Lewis presented her proposed 2024 budget to the Common Council on Wednesday, October 4, at the regularly scheduled Common Council meeting. The recommended total budget, including general operating, water, sewer, sidewalks, stormwater, and solid waste totals $101,058,360. The budget for just the general operating fund totals $80,379,063. The total amount in approved capital projects is $5,006,000.
The budget proposes a flat tax rate of $11.98 per $1000 assessed value, no change from 2023 and a 5% increase in the tax levy. A $302,000 median home would pay $3,295 in taxes in 2024. The 2024 budget operates above the tax cap of 2.2%. There are no fee increases for sidewalk districts, water rates, yard waste or the stormwater fee but sewer rates will increase by 10% and trash tags will increase to $5.
In developing the 2024 budget, the Mayor’s goals were to reduce the debt load, keep the tax rate and tax levy increases to a minimum, integrate new labor contract wages, and maintain a robust fund balance. Staff and fringe benefits continue to be the city’s largest expense, at approximately 66% of the total operating budget.
Some highlights of the budget include:
• There are no layoffs included in the budget. The budget includes adding or restoring 22 positions.
• Creating a budget line for the Office of the City Manager in preparation for the switch to a new form of government on January 1, 2024
• Re-establishing a stand-alone City Clerk position and creating two new Departments, one for Information Technology and one for Communications and Community Engagement
Council will begin its budget process beginning on Wednesday, October 11. There are three public hearings on October 11, October 12, and November 1, all at 6pm.
For the complete set of budget documents, please visit this website: http://www.cityofithaca.org/427/City-Budget
For more information contact Public Information Specialist Melody Faraday firstname.lastname@example.org; (607) 274-6571