Public Hearing–Batavia City Budget

Update:  The property tax increase was lowered to $300,000 from $500,000. The leaf and brush fee will rise $1, to $5/mo. The ban on video gambling has been lifted and will now be allowed in Batavia.

Monday night, Nov. 21, 7:30pm– public hearing on 2017 Budget at City Hall. Budget info: http://www.cityofbatavia.net/Archive.aspx?ADID=218

Highlights from the “Presentation” document:  $500,000 increase in property taxes for stormwater drainage improvements; $.50/month leaf & brush fee increase (new fee: $4.50/month); new income from approving video gambling.

Something to consider: The City of Batavia includes in their proposal a property tax increase to raise an additional $500,000 to fund needed stormwater drainage improvements. However, the City in the last couple of months has agreed to give to the big developer, Shodeen, several properties it owns or has promised to purchase for Shodeen’s proposed 186-unit apartment complex at Washington and Wilson. Those properties total nearly $2 million in cost to taxpayers ($700,000 purchase price for Baptist church, $400,000 for current parking garage, $600,000 and $200,000 for 2 properties the City has agreed to purchase). That doesn’t include the $1.25 million the City will spend on the property purchase to provide parking while the apartments are being built, nor the cost of demolition and parking lot construction that the City will assume at taxpayer expense from monies in the General Fund (your tax dollars).

The purchase money for the Fisher property alone ($600,000) could have been used to fund the stormwater improvements, as could have the over $600,000 that the City had sitting around from their sale of land at Kirk and Wilson to Speedway, that instead is promised for the $1.25 million Larson-Becker purchase. Your taxes will be increased while Shodeen walks away with your money from the General Fund.

Are you happy with the way the City is spending your tax dollars? Are you willing to pay more taxes, under these circumstances?

If you’re not happy, you need to let the City Council know at the public hearing Monday night (your presence adds weight to your comments), or if you can’t make it, at least send an email to the entire City Council and Mayor before then, and ask to have it included in the public record. Contact button is at right.

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