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Mount Vernon Budget Would Raise Taxes By More Than $300

Mayor Ernie Davis's proposed budget would increase taxes by over $300 for Mount Vernon property owners if it is approved by the City Council.
Mayor Ernie Davis's proposed budget would increase taxes by over $300 for Mount Vernon property owners if it is approved by the City Council. Photo Credit: File Photo

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – The average property owner in Mount Vernon would see a $315.50 increase in taxes if the proposed 9.8 percent hike to the tax rate is approved, Mount Vernon City officials said.

Mayor Ernie Davis proposed the tax rate increase when he released his 2013 budget for the City Council to approve. The proposed budget calls for spending more than $6 million than the adopted 2012 budget, which had a 6.1 percent tax rate increase.

In addition, property assessments are down, with taxable property currently estimated at approximately $154 million, down $2 million from when the 2011 budget was adopted.

Though the City Council voted 3-2 to override a 2 percent tax cap put in place by the state, no members of the City Council said they would vote to adopt the proposed budget without making cuts.

“We need a plan on how to get the best value out of what we are spending,” Council member Richard Thomas said. “Taxes are high and institutions like Mount Vernon Hospital are failing. We need an economic solution and I hope we have a dialogue and find a way to move forward.”

Council member Karen Watts-Yehudah said that, even though she pays her taxes, it is difficult for her to do so some years. Watts-Yehudah said that members of the City Council will have to pay the tax increases too.

“We feel this directly,” Watts-Yehudah said. “In the meetings I’ve attended not one person is in support of a tax increase.”

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