Oneida residents to see 2% tax hike as $25M budget OK’d
ONEIDA — The city of Oneida passed its $25 million budget for 2023 at Tuesday’s regular meeting with a 2% tax increase after two years of no increases.
A 2% increase would amount to roughly $21.89 for a home worth $100,000 in the inside district and $11.07 for the same home in the outside district.
Councilors made the decision to raise taxes after examining the rising costs of goods and services.
Costs had to be cut in certain areas and made up for in others, with the Parks and Recreation Department seeing a number of items cut or reduced, from a dump trailer and side-by-side to stone dust for the Rail Trail.
The budget was passed unanimously and without discussion.
After the meeting, Mayor Helen Acker said she presented a very tight budget this year to the city councilors and thanked them for their work.
“The Common Council worked hard to get where we are and trying to save the taxpayer’s money,” she said. “But with the cost of everything so exorbitant, it’s difficult. That’s why I encourage everyone to shop local and keep sales tax dollars here in the city.”
Acker said in this area of New York, they pay 8% sales tax — with 2% coming back to the city.
“Then another 2% goes to Madison County, and the rest goes to the state,” she continued. “So we encourage everyone to shop as much as they can locally. I know you can’t buy everything here in Oneida, but you can do a lot.”
Among items cut from the 2023 budget was $16,000 for PAC-99 to record the city’s meetings. The city is required by law to record meetings and make them available to the public. Councilors made the cut with no joy and made plans to pursue their own avenue of recording, whether that’s via the internet or dictaphone.
Acker is of the opinion that this is something that should be re-examined.
“The council voted to eliminate the PAC 99 funding and Bruce Burke, the president of PAC-99, asked the city to review it and will be doing so with the council,” she said. “We have to get more information, Burke, and we’re looking at every option because every dime counts in this budget.”
The mayor explained that for every 1% the tax rate is increased, it’s $50,000 for the city. With a 2% tax rate, that’s $100,000.
“And for a $25 million budget, that’s not a lot,” she said. “But we’re going to do the best we can to serve our taxpayers the best we can.”
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