New Year, Same Old Story

Your taxes are going up.

The School Board, as usual, increased their property tax levy the maximum amount. Enrollment is declining but taxes keep going up.

The City Council increased taxes as well. The gasoline tax increased by 1 cent, to 5 cents/gallon, water rate increased by 3%, sewer rate increased by 4%, and the property tax levy will increase but the rate will remain the same. Some on the Council would have you believe that the same property tax rate means your property taxes aren’t going up, but if you look at your property assessment, if you are in the large majority of Batavia property owners, your assessed value went up, meaning your property taxes will go up even though the rate is the same.

The votes on the budget and levy were split 8-5, with Salvati, Callahan, Meitzler, Uher, and Russotto voting against. Concerns about the budget, including the pension burden of the new positions being hired, tax increases exceeding residents’ income increases, and the need for better long term planning, led the 5 to vote “No”. Our thanks to these 5 Aldermen.

With 4 of the 8 “Yes” votes in contested seats in the upcoming Consolidated Elections April 2, 2019, the future burden of the City on taxpayers could hinge on those election results. The wards with contested elections are 2, 4, 4 (unexpired term), and 5.

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