Rochester, N.Y. – Suburban Monroe County homeowners could see a surprise on their property tax bills next year. Although the proposed 2013 budget holds property tax rates flat, the county plans to assess a separate fee for snow removal on county roads.
“When the county executive unveiled her budget, certainly she didn’t say anything about this new chargeback,” said Carrie Andrews, Democratic Minority Leader.
County Executive Maggie Brooks proposed her ninth straight budget holding the property tax rate flat at $8.99 per $1,000 assessed value. But the budget doesn’t spell out the snow removal fee. It came up during a budget hearing when lawmakers questioned a $5.3 million revenue line, the amount of money that would be raised from the fee.
“It’s an outright lie that county taxes are being held flat,” said legislator Paul Haney (D- Rochester).
“It’s sneaky and it shouldn’t be done like this,” said Josh Bauroth (D-Brighton). “If you’re going to raise our taxes, tell us and then we can make up our minds fairly and openly.”
Homeowners would be assessed $15 per $100,000 assessed value for snow removal.
“The 2013 Budget holds the property tax rate stable for a 9th consecutive year and protects vital funding for snow and ice removal. Instead of addressing the root cause, unfunded State mandates, Legislature Democrats are attacking the County’s solution to best serve the traveling public while simultaneously protecting local taxpayers. Their partisan attacks ring especially hollow considering this is a group that votes against flat property taxes each and every year,” said county spokesman Justin Feasal in a statement.
Legislators will vote on the budget next month.