Troy City Council proposes reducing 28.2% property tax hike to 9.5%

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TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A proposed property tax hike in Troy could be slashed.

The proposed 28.2 percent increase has gotten property owners fired up, and many of them expressed their frustrations at public meetings. Troy Mayor Patrick Madden introduced the hike in his 2017 budget proposal.

But a four member committee with the Troy City Council announced it was able to reduce the tax increase to 9.5 percent.

While some neighbors said it was an improvement, others said it’s still a pinch in their wallets.

Kimberly Selcuk and her husband purchased a home on 15th Street 11 years ago when it was over 100 years old. With several attempts to get grants for their aging home, they said it’s been unsuccessful since it’s an overpopulated neighborhood.

“As median, average workers in blue collar fields, our incomes are not increasing at the exponential rate that the taxes are increasing,” Selcuk said.

Troy Council President Carmella Mantello said 9.5 percent is still a hike, but it may be more affordable for homeowners. Other neighbors said no increase would be ideal, but it’s a bigger relief than 28 percent.

“I understand there’s mandates, and there’s struggles with some things, but sometimes you just look around and said, you know, the answer always seems to be collect more,” Ed Kuhn said. “It never seems to be spend less.”

NEWS10 ABC reached out to Troy Mayor Patrick Madden for comment. He released the following statement:

Upon receipt, my administration will conduct a fact-based, detailed analysis of the reductions presented by the four-member City Council Majority Steering Committee. This analysis will provide the newly-formed council subcommittee a clear understanding of the impact these reductions will have on city operations and services provided to Troy residents and assist the full City Council in their decision-making on the proposed 2017 city budget. We look forward to clarifying specifics of the four-member Majority Steering Committee’s plan on Wednesday evening.

If the mayor supports the 9.5 percent increase, homeowners could see quite the difference in the amount of taxes they’ll be paying. Homes assessed at $100,000 will see an increase of $336 in taxes each year. On the other hand, 9.5 percent would cut that down to $108.

The mayor and the council are expected to meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday at city hall to review the council’s suggested changes. A final public hearing will be held on Thursday.

“Last week, after our last budget meeting, we rolled up our sleeves – the four of us – and we said, ‘Let’s chop this budget but not affect our core mission,’ which is police, fire and quality of life sanitation services,” Mantello said.

To get the tax increase down to 9.5 percent, the city council said it plans to cut funding to several agencies, including cutting police overtime and discretionary overtime to the fire department, and leaving vacant city positions unfilled and eliminating new positions.

City council has until November 29 to vote on the budget proposal.

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