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Ithaca mayor proposes $101M budget for 2024, maintains flat tax rate

  • / Updated
  • Staff Report 

Ithaca Mayor Laura Lewis presented her proposed 2024 budget to the Common Council on Wednesday, October 4, at its regularly scheduled meeting.

The recommended total budget, including  general operating, water, sewer, sidewalks, stormwater, and solid waste totals $101,058,360. The budget for just the general operating fund totals $80,379,063. The total amount in approved capital projects is  $5,006,000. 

The budget proposes a flat tax rate of $11.98 per $1000 assessed value, no change from 2023 and a 5% increase in the tax levy. A $302,000 median home would pay $3,295 in taxes in 2024. The 2024 budget  operates above the tax cap of 2.2%. There are no fee increases for sidewalk districts, water rates, yard waste  or the stormwater fee but sewer rates will increase by 10% and trash tags will increase to $5. 

In developing the 2024 budget, the Mayor’s goals were to reduce the debt load, keep the tax rate and tax levy increases to a minimum, integrate new labor contract wages, and maintain a robust fund balance. Staff and  fringe benefits continue to be the city’s largest expense, at approximately 66% of the total operating budget. 

Some highlights of the budget included: 

• There are no layoffs included in the budget. The budget includes adding or restoring 22  positions.  

• Creating a budget line for the Office of the City Manager in preparation for the switch to a new  form of government on January 1, 2024 

• Re-establishing a stand-alone City Clerk position and creating two new Departments, one for  Information Technology and one for Communications and Community Engagement 

Council will begin its budget process beginning on Wednesday, October 11. There are three public hearings on  October 11, October 12, and November 1, all at 6pm. 

For the complete set of budget documents, please visit this website: