Ouch!

Taxes Rising 11% Next Year, Despite Casino Money

By Josh Resnek

Taxes will be rising by as much as 11% next year according to a spate of city hall officials who spoke about it but who wished to remain unnamed.

The 11% figure first came up during a finance hearing before the city council.

Eric Demas, the city’s chief financial officer, answered a question raised by Councilor Rosa DiFlorio.

The exchange took place when the council was debating  the School Department’s $6 million payment to cover its needs.

DiFlorio asked Demas about taxes, about how much they might be going up.

“11% up,” she was told. Demas did not respond to a call from the Leader Herald.

Final tallies of the city’s income and expenses in November will determine the final outcome.

“The 11% figure is quite possible,” said a source. “It could be higher. It could be lower. The mayor could take the $30 million the city gets from Wynn Resorts the day they open the doors and put it against the rising tax bill. But that’s not the way to do it,” added the source

Bigger tax bills for all property owners despite the cash inflow from the casino is causing many to question the mayor’s business acumen and leadership of the budget process.

“Spending must be reduced to prevent further tax increases. You can’t use the casino money to make-up for what is being spent in the city budget. Casino money must be used to advance the agenda of the city – and the city must take care of itself with taxes,” said an official with direct knowledge of the budgetary/spending process.

 

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