Tompkins unveils $179 million recommended budget for 2018; tax levy up but rate down

By Kelsey O’Connor

The Ithaca Voice

Photo by Kelsey O’Connor / The Ithaca Voice
The Tompkins County Legislature during a meeting.

Moving into budget season, reducing the jail population and addressing the housing crisis are on the “front burner” of priorities for next year. A new revenue stream from casinos may help Tompkins County reach some of its budget priorities.

Tompkins County Administrator Joe Mareane released details last week of the $179 million 2018 Recommended Budget. The budget includes a tax levy increase of 2.4 percent, but a property tax rate decrease.

An increase in the county’s tax base by 3.1 percent has helped lower the property tax rate to $6.58 per $1,000 of assessed property value. For the owner of a median-valued $178,000 home in Tompkins County, a homeowner’s property tax bill would increase $12.

In addition to jail population and housing, the county also has standard priorities to maintain current levels of service, maintain fiscal strength and sustain investment in facilities and infrastructure.

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