Public hearing to offer Utica residents chance to discuss budget

By By GARY LIBERATORE

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Utica residents will soon have their chance to be a part of the looming budget process.

A public hearing on Utica's City budget is set for next week, but people are already talking about it. That public hearing is set for next Wednesday, March 17 - St. Patrick's Day, at 6:30 p.m., and it is expected to be widely attended.

Business owners and homeowners are most likely looking at a 20 percent property tax increase unless the city finds programs, services and maybe even more jobs in which to cut.

People throughout Utica Monday said they understand these are difficult times, and that the state may have put us into this position, but it's our city leaders who will have to make the tough decisions. They say they will be at next week's public hearing to voice their opinions on what should be done.

"The things is, I'm a landlord," said Utica resident Tony Myers. "I have tenants. Ultimately, it could be the tenants who pay the property tax increase, because rents go up, and that just adds to inflation. We're a city that's full of challenges."

"The money's got to come from somewhere," said Orin Domenico, a Utica Business Owner. "I mean, everybody wants their taxes to stay down, but they want their street paved too...and they don't want the sewer caving in.
The obvious thing to say is to 'trim the fat,' but it's difficult to say what the fat is."

Those are just some of the things that people may be bringing up to officials at that public hearing - what things they think they can live without rather than raise taxes 20 percent.

Once again, the public hearing is set for Wednesday, March 17 at 6:30 p.m.

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