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Mayor Walsh's proposed budget includes a 2% property tax increase

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh delivers his budget address Apr. 9, 2024.
John Smith
Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh delivers his budget address Apr. 9, 2024.

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh is proposing a two percent property tax increase to help address increasing costs and housing needs in the city. The proposal came during the introduction of his $341 million 2025 budget Tuesday. Walsh says across the board cost increases for city services were behind what he calls his modest proposal.

“That translates to about a $55 increase in property taxes for the year, again, not insignificant, not taken lightly, but necessary to address the to ensure that we're delivering the city services that our residents expect and deserve.”

Walsh is also proposing increases of roughly $15 for sewer rates and five dollars for water. The Mayor says $2 million of that new revenue will be shifted to the newly developed Syracuse Housing Trust fund. Walsh says the hope is that will spur private investment in housing.

“But as we’re trying to position the city to compete for new employees at Micron, and other people who are going to be coming to this community for economic opportunity…it’s imperative that our neighborhoods are seen as competitive…and viable…and attractive.”

Walsh notes that the Housing Trust Fund will be a big of a housing strategic plan that will be released later this month. The proposed budget is now in the hands of the common council for review over the next two weeks. Councilors will hold a public hearing May 1.

Bob Beck, a veteran media professional, currently serves as a part-time editor/host at WAER Public Radio and an adjunct professor at Syracuse University. Beck retired as News Director at Wyoming Public Radio in 2022 after 34 years. During his time, Beck won 5 regional Edward R. Murrow awards and 5 Public Media Journalists Association awards for reporting. He also won 11 PMJA awards for the news and public affairs program Open Spaces. He was awarded the Wyoming School Bell award for education reporting and was part of two Emmy Award winning television productions. You can find him on X under the name @butterbob.