Payments in Lieu of Taxes
Being home to Cornell University, Ithaca College, and dozens of terrific non-profit agencies is part of what makes Ithaca a great place to live. These organizations contribute to our culture, our quality of life, and our economy.
But the fact that 62% of land in the City of Ithaca is tax exempt means higher property taxes for the rest of us.
Nearly 90% of that tax exempt land belongs to the University.
I believe that it is in the University’s best interests to become more thorough partners in our City’s success, and so as Mayor, I will ask every non-profit in the City to contribute to the tax base through voluntary contributions.
Ithaca should follow Boston and seek a contribution of 25% of assessed property taxes. If every non-profit contributes, we can add millions of dollars each year to the tax rolls. That money can help us address our budget deficit, maintain the programs that make Ithaca great, curb the growth of property taxes, and help drive down the cost of rent.
Convincing the University to contribute more will not be easy, but there are lessons we can learn from other cities and even right here in our own Community. With focus, creativity, and hard work, we can convince the University to invest in our mutual success.
Future Development and the Tax Base
The City of Ithaca needs to do everything in its power to keep property on the tax rolls. This means, in part, promoting privately developed housing in Collegetown and discouraging the building of new dorms.