City of Erie residents react to possible property tax increase

Local News

Property owners in the City of Erie will most likely not escape a tax increase in 2020.

The plan as currently proposed is that for a $100,000 home, property owners pay an extra $145 in taxes along with a sewer and refuse fee going up about $40 each. This leads residents to react differently.

Mixed emotions fill the air for city residents after learning that there could be a property tax increase come 2020 after all.

“We are all in this ship together and we are trying to raise the general tide so to speak for Erie,” said Scott Hitz, a Erie resident. “Let’s increase the quality of life for everyone in the town for everyone and if we need to raise taxes in order to do that great.”

“Raising taxes has a negative result, in my mind we are going to have a smaller tax base and its going to be perpetual, we’ll have to keep continuing to squeeze on the people that stay, so you want people to say ‘let’s figure out how to make that happen without raising taxes.'” said Becky Buss, a Erie resident.

The tax debate reignited after city council members decided to wait on a long-term lease for the water system, a deal that would’ve netted the city some $90 million. These dollars won’t help the 2020 budget. Erie City Council President Jim Winarski explained that there is still work to be done for this budget.

“Nothing is set in stone yet, we still have work to do,” Winarski said. “We still have seven diligent council people that are looking over this budget closely to see if there is somewhere else we can make an adjustments to help offset some of that tax increase.”

Winarkski went on to say the reason the tax increase is higher than before is due to both the tax increase and a plan to pay more to pay down pension debt. Erie City Council will have another study session with Schember’s administration on Tuesday with the hopes that they will have a final vote on the budget during Wednesday’s meeting.

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