Erie City Council has decided to not go through with the proposed Erie Water Works deal, which means there could be a hike in property taxes.
“Originally we had proposed a .75 percent increase, equaling 75 basis points,” said Mayor Joe Schember, City of Erie. “This would look like it would almost double that at 145 basis points. So someone with a $100,000 home would pay an extra $145 a year with this tax increase.”
Erie City Councilman Curtis Jones explained that he believes most council members agree with this proposal due to the long term benefit. “We have to remember that we haven’t had a tax increase since 2015, which is another component. We have worked and figured out and finagled how to keep the taxes where they were the last five years and this year we just can’t do that with the right type of long term benefit we want to have for our city,” said Jones.
Jones further explained that the Erie Water Works deal is not completely off the table, its just something council wants to look further into. “We are still going to as a council and administration look at the best way of applying that and going into that deal, if it works best for us long term, in early 2020 itself,” said Jones.
As for the 2020 budget., an increase in sewer and garbage fees is also proposed. Along with a change in the City of Erie pension plan, which would make adjustments for rate of return and life expectancy. “Now they’re going to make both of those very realistic, I think its going to be a six percent rate of return, which will be very realistic and they’re going to us the most current life expectancy,” said Schember.
Erie City Council is expected to vote on the 2020 budget next Wednesday night, during the regularly scheduled meeting scheduled to begin at 7:30.