UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR-TV) — For the first time this year Mayor Robert Palmieri publicly shared the city’s budget plans for 2020 and the tax increase on residents.
“I think it was very informative. I think a lot of good questions were asked and you know the good thing is, you have all of the department heads here to answer any of the questions that any of the residents had. Overall I think people are very pleased, not only in the budget but with what’s happening in the city.” – Mayor Robert Palmieri, (D)-Utica
Officers from Utica’s Police Department came and discussed the issue of the police residency mandate in the city. The Department of Public Works also attended and addressed concerns about businesses that don’t shovel their sidewalks. Mayor Palmieri explained why the community is seeing a 1.9% tax increase this year.
“We have a 7th consecutive year of the surplus. We’ve been upgraded by all three of the financial institutes so that’s not political that’s factual. Our sales tax is up which means that we have more people investing in the city. Our building permits are up by 351% so that tells you that people are building in there. All of the indicators are very strong for the city, not only for today but for the future.” – Mayor Robert Palmieri, (D)-Utica
Medical costs and pensions also impact the increase on taxes. 90% of the tax increase will go towards law enforcement and first responders, the remaining 10% is designated for city maintenance. Residents shared their concerns and asked questions about the budget and other topics.